Same man involved in two of four meth busts in Rifle area |

Same man involved in two of four meth busts in Rifle area

Heidi Rice
Western Garfield County Staff

RIFLE ” Of four methamphetamine arrests between Feb. 6 and April 25, two have involved the same Rifle man.

The Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team made the latest arrest Monday after a month-long investigation in methamphetamine distribution in the Rifle area.

TRIDENT officers made two undercover purchases from Lester Charles Hays III, 36. The first occurred at 319 Railroad Ave. No. 12, where officers were sold 4 grams of meth and given 3.5 grams of marijuana as a gift. The second purchase occurred in the parking lot of the City Market on Railroad Avenue in Rifle, where officers purchased 2.7 grams of meth. The purchase in the parking lot occurred while Hays was on bond for additional unrelated felony narcotics charges.

Hays was arrested on two counts of distribution of methamphetamine; two counts of possession with intention to distribute methamphetamine; two counts of possession of methamphetamine; and possession of marijuana.

He was also charged with violation of bail-bond conditions.

On Feb. 6, Rifle police on patrol in the 1700 block of Howard Avenue recognized Hays as someone who had a failure-to-appear warrant out of Garfield County. Police also found drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine. Hays was charged with possession of drugs and paraphernalia.

TRIDENT officers and the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office also arrested two Rifle residents at the end of March and early April in Rifle after receiving information that they were dealing meth in the Rifle area. Sara Ann Schirer, 19, was arrested on March 30, and Jared Kia Hogue, 26, was arrested on April 4, after an undercover agent had purchased about 4 grams of meth from them in the McDonald’s parking lot on Taughenbaugh Boulevard.

Both faced multiple charges of distribution, possession with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute. Hogue was also charged with unlawful use of a schedule II drug and possession of drug paraphernalia.

“It’s interesting,” said Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario, who is also the board chairman for TRIDENT. “We’re not focusing on the (Rifle) area, we just go where the cases take us. We are concentrating on (meth), but we’re not turning our back on other things.”

On Feb. 24, the Glenwood Springs Police Department contacted TRIDENT officers regarding Heidi Michelle Chassells, 29, of New Castle, for suspicion of being under the influence of meth, which she later admitted. A consensual search of Chassells’ residence at 5033 County Road 335, No. 147, revealed a small amount of meth, packaging and distribution equipment, and several pieces of drug paraphernalia.

Chassells was arrested on April 21 and charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User