Justin Brooks Mathis gets 4.5 years for fraud, dealing
Post Independent staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A local man accused of passing bad checks last year and selling marijuana around the area in 2011, was sentenced this week to four-and-a-half years in the Colorado Department of Corrections, after pleading guilty in return for the dismissal of some charges.
Justin Brooks Mathis, 32, of Rifle, was sentenced on Thursday by District Judge Daniel Petre, following a plea bargain with attorneys with the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s office.
He had been in jail since December 2012 on the latest charges, which included allegations of violating the conditions of his probation on the 2011 marijuana charges, according to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office website.
According to court documents, Mathis was first arrested in June 2011 during a drug buying operation of the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team (TRIDENT), conducted in a parking lot at Wal-Mart in Rifle.
According to prosecutors at the time, Mathis was arrested after trying to sell more than eight ounces of pot to undercover agents. The sale reportedly took place in a car belonging to one of the Trident Agents.
Mathis was on probation from that case last year when, according to prosecutors, he began passing bad checks at area businesses, including Global Excavating in Carbondale and Big Daddy’s Sports Bar in Glenwood Springs.
Glenwood Springs Police Officer Guy Ryan, in an affidavit filed with the court, wrote that he learned of the bad checks on Nov. 28, 2012, when police got a call from Global Excavation.
After a four-day investigation, including contacts with area banks, Ryan was informed that Mathis and a female friend were trying to cash a bad check at the Alpine Check Cashing business in Glenwood Springs, apparently for the second time in three days.
On Dec. 3. Mathis was arrested on suspicion of possession of identity theft tools, criminal theft, impersonation, forgery, possession of a forged instrument and a $2,500 warrant for failure to comply with conditions of his probation in the prior marijuana case.
In court this week, Judge Petre sentenced Mathis to three years apiece in prison for two different check fraud cases, to be served concurrently, and to 18 months in prison for the probation violation case.
One check fraud case was dismissed as part of the plea bargain with DA Sherry Caloia’s office.
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