High Country Crime: Driver in 2017 fatal crash near Kremmling gets 30-day jail sentence
The driver in a fatal car crash that took the life of 29-year-old Justin Ketchum near Kremmling in March 2017 has been sentenced to 30 days in jail after failing to complete the terms of her deferred judgment and sentence.
Anna Gates, 22, and Ketchum were traveling down Highway 40 near milepost 181, about three miles west of Kremmling, when the car veered off the road and rolled down an embankment, officials from the Colorado State Patrol told Sky-Hi News last year. Ketchum was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead on scene. Gates sustained only minor injuries.
Gates pleaded guilty to a charge of careless driving resulting in a death, and accepted a deferred judgment and sentence for six months. Careless driving resulting in a death is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by 10 days to one year in prison, $300 to $1,000 in fines, or both.
As part of the settlement, Gates was ordered to complete 24 hours of useful public service, make a charitable contribution to D.A.R.E. and serve two days in jail.
In October 2017, Brett Barkey, district attorney for the 14th Judicial District, made a motion to revoke the sentence on the grounds that Gates never arrived to serve her jail sentence. The two parties returned to court on the issue April 30.
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County Judge Nicholas Catanzarite determined that Gates did indeed violate the terms of her deferred sentence. Her deferred judgment was revoked, and she was re-sentenced to serve 30 days in jail, which she will do in Grand County.
-Sawyer D’Argonne, Sky-Hi News
Feds intercept Ecstasy package heading from Netherlands to Vail
A U.S. Department of Homeland Security agent posing as a mailman delivered a package to a Vail home supposedly containing garlic and rosemary, but actually filled with ecstasy — lots of ecstasy.
The package air-mailed from the Netherlands to 2875 Manns Ranch Road in Vail contained 1,114 green and blue tablets of ecstasy, considered a party drug for its hallucinogenic and stimulative properties.
Devine Nadine Terrio, 26, was charged Monday with one count of possession with the intent to distribute ecstacy. She faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Mohammad Ikram, an agricultural specialist with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection stationed in San Francisco, intercepted a suspicious package on April 18.
Although a voucher attached to the package said it contained garlic, rosemary, almonds and sea salt, a “Gemini 1722 analyzer” indicated it contained ecstasy, according to an arrest affidavit. HSI agents embedded a device in the package that would start beeping when it was opened.
An HSI agent dressed as a mail man and delivered the package to one of Terrio’s roommates at 10:51 a.m. on Friday. But agents didn’t knock on the door until later that day when Terrio returned to the home and opened the package.
As they knocked, the agents declared, “police with a search warrant.” Terrio later admitted that she hid the package in a kitchen cabinet before opening her front door.
The HSI agents searched the home and found the pills and nine baggies of cocaine in Terrio’s bedroom and purse, the affidavit says. Terrio admitted that a man named “Paul” that she barely knew asked her to receive that package for him.
When asked why she would agree to receive drugs for someone she doesn’t know well, Terrio replied, “I don’t know. I make stupid decisions.”
-Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post
Man wanted in Aspen for threats, attempted extortion
An Argentinian man allegedly spent most of February, March and April stalking, threatening and attempting to extort his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend, according to court documents.
The ex-girlfriend reported to police that she was afraid of Alejandro Saez-Blanco, 40, and believes he might return to Aspen and exact violent revenge on her new boyfriend, documents state. If he returns to Aspen, Saez-Blanco will face felony charges of extortion and stalking, as well as numerous misdemeanor charges, according to an affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court.
The incidents began in February when Saez-Blanco began texting the woman’s new boyfriend, including the fact that he had found the man’s house locked when he visited, the documents state. Two days after that, video surveillance at the man’s house caught Saez-Blanco knocking on the man’s front door and peering into his window.
The same night, Saez-Blanco texted the new boyfriend threatening physical violence, according to the affidavit. He later admitted sending the texts and was told by police not to return to the boyfriend’s house.
In March, Saez-Blanco was arrested for trespassing, harassment and domestic violence. That arrest included a restraining order forbidding him from contacting the woman or her new boyfriend.
In April, Saez-Blanco again began sending the woman texts, this time from Argentina, according to the affidavit. He also left a voicemail for the boyfriend calling him names and saying, “I’m coming for you,” the affidavit states.
Ten days after the voicemail, Saez-Blanco left voicemails for the boyfriend saying he was going to report the woman to immigration authorities if the boyfriend didn’t deposit $50,000 into Saez-Blanco’s account, according to a second affidavit filed Tuesday in Pitkin County District Court.
Three days after that, Saez-Blanco allegedly posted a message on Facebook warning that the boyfriend is a “pedophile,” the affidavit states.
Saez-Blanco could be in Spain or in Argentina, according to the affidavits.
-Jason Auslander, The Aspen Times
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