Con Games: Aspen Cocaine the Shame of the City

The willingness of the Aspen community to adopt a don't ask/don't tell policy when it comes to cocaine trafficking -- and then to slavishly say they like it that way -- is all but indefensible.
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The willingness of the Aspen community to adopt a don't ask/don't tell policy when it comes to cocaine trafficking -- and then to slavishly say they like it that way -- is shameful, disgraceful, and all but indefensible.

Want to hear the latest joke? Both Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo and his Yoda, former Sheriff Bob Braudis, just happened to attend the latest birthday party back in April 2011 for their pal Wayne Reid, newly incarcerated on charges of cocaine trafficking filed by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

The DEA cut the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office out of the investigation because of the "close ties" between DiSalvo, Braudis, and the accused traffickers. The sheriffs say they barely know these guys, which is a flat-out lie. The latest evidence is the inconvenient truth that both showed up at Wayne Reid's 65th birthday party.

Sheriff Joe and Sheriff Bob, according to reporting by Rick Carroll, were at the Ute City Restaurant with friends in April 2011 before they hop-skipped over to The Wine Spot at the Hyatt Grand Aspen for Reid's party, an event know to one and all in Aspen as the "Awaynement," a yukking reference to the accused dealer's arraignment.

"I did not have a drink and I did see some people I knew," DiSalvo told Carroll, "but I wouldn't classify them as close friends. I saw Wayne and we shook hands. I knew he was going away for a long time and we shook hands and left... Once again, any statement that I have a close personal relationship with these people is simply and absolutely inaccurate."

Best case for DiSalvo: he went to the birthday party of a man accused of cocaine trafficking -- a party called the "Awaynement" -- and shook his hand before the accused left "for a long time."

Why would he do that were Reid not a friend? It was DiSalvo who likened himself to Andy of Mayberry and Reid and the drug dealers to Otis the town drunk, the fictional Mayberry television character who was tolerated and even beloved.

Oh. A birthday party for Otis.

Nice small town stuff, right?

Braudis, the notorious Jesuitical blowhard who still thinks drugs are cool, told Carroll "it was snowing really hard. I went to Wayne's party to say hello and another six inches of snow came down and that was it, that was fucking it."

Braudis's response to the charges, in other words, is that is was snowing "really hard" that night -- leaving us to speculate that he might have stayed longer at the accused cocaine trafficker's Awaynemenet party were it not for the weather.

"This is nuts," Braudis huffed to Carroll about the ongoing DEA case. "They go through an hour and a half of precious federal court time to deny this guy bond and put this guy from Glenwood on the stand. This is a hallucination that continues to dominate the DEA: that I or anyone else can protect these guys."

We shall see soon enough if said "hallucination" disappears like so much coke up the noses of the friends of the two Pitkin County Sheriffs. For now, as the big lie grows bigger and their noses grow longer, Joe DiSalvo and Bob Braudis will continue to deny what they know to be the truth as if their lives depended on it.

But Sheriff Bob is right about one thing: neither he nor Sheriff Joe can protect their friends any more.

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