GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - Evance Zimbalist Grandberry, the alleged leader of a group of drug dealers busted last December in the valley, wants his bond reduced for the second time.
He has been in jail since he was arrested on Dec. 12, 2012, along with more than a dozen others, mostly from Carbondale, accused of selling illicit drugs to undercover agents of the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team (TRIDENT) during a nine-month investigation.
His attorney, Kathy Goudy of Carbondale, filed a motion for a second bond reduction on Feb. 1, part of which attacks the credibility of an informant whose information and work appeared to be key parts of the prosecution's case.
TRIDENT is a multi-agency task force operating in Garfield, Rio Blanco, Pitkin and Eagle counties, created in 1994 with participation from the police departments of Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Silt and Vail, as well as the Garfield County Sheriff's Office, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the state's Rocky Mountain High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area initiative.
Grandberry, 22, of Carbondale, faces three separate cases filed by former District Attorney Martin Beeson: sale of illicit drugs during the TRIDENT investigation; suspicion of the sale of prescription drugs found in a safe in Grandberry's home; and violation of probation from a 2009 drug case.
His bond at one point reached $300,000, but a local judge knocked that down to $155,000 covering the three cases against him: $100,000 for the original TRIDENT case, $50,000 for charges of selling prescription drugs and $5,000 for probation violation.
Goudy filed the second motion for bond reduction for two reasons, she said.
"Because there's new information, and because he can't bond out of jail [because he is indigent]," Goudy told the Post Independent on Monday.
In her motion, Goudy noted that she was appointed on Jan. 16, the day before a hearing on the first motion for bond reduction, and had insufficient time to fully investigate the charges and the case.
Since then, she wrote in the motion, Grandberry has obtained his medical records showing that he got a prescription for 93 pills of Xanax, an anti-anxiety medication, in December 2011. Xanax, under the generic name, Alprazolam, was among the pills found in Grandberry's safe.
Goudy also pointed out in the motion that no illicit drugs were found at Grandberry's home, according to a TRIDENT inventory, and that Grandberry had paystubs on hand from his job that were "commensurate" with $750 in cash that agents confiscated from Grandberry's residence.
The motion, in addition, questions the validity of arresting Grandberry at all, stating, "Mr. Grandberry has been painted by TRIDENT as the leader of a drug gang (sometimes referred to as a 'kingpin') based almost entirely on the statements of a Confidential Informant (CI)."
The CI, according to court records, has not been named in charges filed against those arrested in the TRIDENT cases arising from the 2012 investigation.
Goudy maintained in her motion that the charges, and Grandberry's high bond, arose from "bootstrap allegations against Mr. Grandberry" by the informant.
Goudy said the informant was paid hundreds of dollars by TRIDENT for setting up drug purchases for agents, and for setting up introductions between agents and drug dealers.
She also attacked the CI's credibility, maintaining, "In one case involving this Confidential Informant, the alleged white powder (supposedly cocaine) turned out to be crushed aspirin, which (the informant) himself crushed and placed into the sale bindle."
Goudy's motion requests that Grandberry either be granted a personal recognizance bond (meaning no cash would be required unless he violated the bond conditions) or a much-reduced case or surety bond.