Aspen heroin suspect waives advisement
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Suspected heroine dealer Ryan Welgos waived advisement Wednesday in Garfield County District Court where the Aspen resident was formally charged with nine felonies.
Welgos and his alleged supplier, Nelson Raul-Gamez, 24, of Aurora, were arrested June 19 in Silverthorne following an undercover investigation that was spurred by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
DEA officials said the March 23 overdose of Aspen visitor Adam Peterson sparked the probe. The DEA and the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team, which assisted with the investigation, claim that the heroin that led to Peterson’s overdose came from Welgos.
Since the arrest Welgos, 30, has been in Garfield County Jail. His bond is $40,000.
Meanwhile, with his hair cropped short, Welgos appeared before Magistrate Lain Leoniak wearing a black and white striped suit with a thick leather belt binding his cuffed hands to his waist.
He appeared calm as he approached the defendant’s table ” his parents looking on from across the courtroom.
Welgos’ attorney, Arnold Mordkin of Snowmass Village, asked Magistrate Lain Leoniak to waive advisement of the charges, which were filed by prosecutor James Leuthauser. The charges include two counts of conspiracy to sell heroin, a schedule I drug, as well as two counts of possession with intent to distribute, two counts of distribution, two counts of possessing more than one gram, and one count of unlawful use of heroin.
Mordkin also filed a motion for a gag order prohibiting anyone involved in the case, including attorneys for both sides and law enforcement officials, from speaking in public or to the press.
After the hearing, Mordkin claimed that a DEA press release featured federal agents “shooting their mouths off” and “patting themselves on the back” for arresting his client.
Mordkin also argued that statements made by Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario seeking the “maximum sentences allowable” against Welgos unfairly prejudice the case.
“That poisons the jury pool,” Mordkin said. “There’s a process we go through … You don’t sentence people until he gets convicted.”
Mordkin said Welgos has no police record and deserves to be treated fairly.
“This is a guy who’s never been in trouble before,” Mordkin said. “Maybe these people will shut up for a while.”
Welgos’ next court appearance is scheduled Aug. 28 at 8:15 a.m., with District Court Judge Daniel B. Petre expected to preside.
It is uncertain whether he will plead on the charges, and Mordkin hopes the judge will consider his motion to restrict any pre-trial publicity.
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AS OF THURSDAY, APRIL 22