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March 5, 2012
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Dozens of SnowBall attendees headed to court

AVON, Colorado - For dozens of SnowBall partiers, the adventure continues.

Avon's three-day music festival saw 140 people taken into custody, said Avon Police Chief Bob Ticer.

The first wave of arrestees made their first court appearance Monday. Another three dozen are scheduled for their first appearance this morning.

Up to 40 people could face felony charges, and up to another 100 on lesser charges.

The SnowBall parade continues through Eagle County Court Judge Katharine Sullivan's court this morning. Scofflaws who don't show up can be arrested, and those who leave the state without the court's permission face a mandatory 18-month prison sentence, said Capt. Bill Kaufman with the Eagle County Sheriff's Office.

Last year's SnowBall saw 48 arrests. The difference, Ticer said, is not the number of law-breakers but the number of police.

"This year we had a year to prepare for the event. Last year we had two months. That gave us an opportunity to reach out to other agencies," Ticer said. "We had triple the number of narcotics officers on Friday night, and also on Saturday night. Narcotics officers from other agencies and the state liquor agency were here to help."

Ticer said that, all in all, SnowBall was successful - at least his part of it.

"This is what we do. We're responsible for public safety. We prepare for it," he said. "When there were people who needed to go to hospitals and jail, we were close at hand. We were able to get them the help they needed immediately.

"The people who are law-abiding, we try to make sure they have a safe and enjoyable event."

Now that it's over, police are being fairly good-natured about it, except for one major irritant - some of those busted for distribution bonded out. They wound up back at SnowBall, where they identified undercover cops.

Cocaine was popular, as were mushrooms. Pot was prevalent. Acid showed up. One crystal meth case rolled through. But the most pervasive was ecstasy, police said.

Avon police set up an entire evidence processing station. They went through seven boxes of acid testing kits, with 15 kits in a box.

"The system worked so well that we managed it with only three overtime shifts and one medical shift," Kaufman said.

One of Monday's cases started in Anchorage, Alaska. The Alaska native attends college in Colorado Springs. He came up for SnowBall and now has lots of felonies. He was arrested for distribution of a controlled substance and returns for his next court date later this month.

A possession-with-intent-to-distribute defendant told Sullivan he works in Denver selling "organic groceries."

One SnowBaller was taken into custody after the event. Police say he'd taken some hallucinogenic drugs and was standing on a table in his buddy's apartment with broken glass all around. His buddy called police for some help, so the guy allegedly beat up his host, then assaulted the police officers.

He spit blood on one officer and hit a couple others, prosecutors said. His right eye was swollen and cut.

He was charged with three counts of assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest, second-degree assault, among other charges. He was ordered to stay away from the guy he's accused of assaulting. He also has to stay from the Avon police department, since he's also accused of assaulting them.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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The VailDaily Updated Mar 6, 2012 01:35PM Published Mar 5, 2012 08:47PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.