Two men were arrested in Aspen late Thursday night after a police officer on patrol found them on East Cooper Avenue, inside an idling van with Wisconsin plates, allegedly consuming cocaine with a third man.
The third man — identified as Cole Sharpe, 29 — fled the scene, according to an arrest affidavit by Aspen police officer Daniel Davis.
“I decided to contact the people in the van to inform them of the idling vehicle law in Aspen, as well as letting them know they could not sleep in their van within city limits,” Davis wrote, adding that it was about 11:55 p.m.
Upon closer inspection, Davis noted that the van’s window shades covered the front window and passenger side door.
“This made me suspicious that perhaps something nefarious was going on,” he continued.
When Davis made contact with the van, Sharpe was the first to exit the vehicle. He was “noticeably shaking” as he explained to Davis that he was showing the two other men — Stephen Vaughn, 25, and Jacob Isley, 21 — his van “because he just got it,” according to the affidavit.
“I noticed three distinct but distorted lines of white powder on the table [inside the van] as well as white residue all over the table. From my 26 years of experience as a police officer and dealing with several cases involving cocaine and other drugs, I believed what I saw was cocaine and the men were doing drugs together in the van,” Davis stated.
Sharpe answered affirmatively when Davis said he “could see the ‘blow’ on the table.” At that, Davis ordered Sharpe to put his hands on the van. Sharpe began to comply but then took off running west toward Original Street.
“I did not proceed after Sharpe but yelled after him to stop running because I already had his identification,” Davis said in the affidavit. “Sharpe continued his sprint … and disappeared into the night.”
Sgt. Rob Fabrocini and officers Mark Anderson and Forrest Barnett arrived on scene and assisted in arresting Vaughn and Isley, as Davis only had one pair of handcuffs on his person.
After exiting the van, Vaughn’s black pants showed white powder across the upper part of the left leg.
“He volunteered that when Sharpe saw me walking up, he blew the powder off the table and it landed on him,” Davis wrote.
Anderson searched Isley and discovered two bindles of cocaine — one weighing .6 grams and the other .9 grams — in a watch pocket. Isley was brought to Pitkin County Jail for possession of a schedule 2 controlled substance, a class 4 drug felony.
Isley was held Thursday night on a $5,000 bond that he was unable to post. On Friday, during an advisement in district court, Judge Chris Seldin released him on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond, which did not require cash. He is due back in court Monday.
Police declined comment on Sharpe’s status following Thursday’s incident, saying that the case remains under investigation.