Vail police arrest eight in drug bust | VailDaily.com

Vail police arrest eight in drug bust

Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com

Police arrested eight people on drugs and guns charges early Saturday morning following a three-month investigation into drug trafficking in Vail.

In addition to the arrests, Vail police detectives secured warrants and searched locations on Garmisch Drive and at Timber Ridge in Vail, where the suspects lived or spent time. Police say they seized two handguns, one which was registered as stolen, along with three vehicles, cash and numerous types of drugs, including cocaine, MDMA (ecstasy), LSD and heroin. The most serious charges were special offenses related to conspiracy to commit crimes and the use of a handgun during a drug deal.

"We're still sifting through all the evidence that was collected. We're still weighing and determining what things are and how much, so there could be additional charges," Vail police spokesperson Annette Dopplick said Saturday evening. "We haven't searched through all the vehicles yet."

No one was injured in the operation and the suspects were taken into custody without incident, police said.

The alleged drug activity included commercial areas and residential neighborhoods, according to Vail police.

"These defendants preyed on our community by supplying drugs in our Vail neighborhoods and businesses," said Chief Dwight Henninger. "Their criminal activities impacted the quality of our community for citizens, young people and our visitors, who were unknowingly exposed to the risk of these drug transactions."

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Henninger said the brazen nature of some of the suspects' actions — which were allegedly often carried out in public — and the presence of weapons is of particular concern, adding, "We remain vigilant and tenacious in protecting the safety and security of our community."

Vail police detectives worked closely with the District Attorney's Office throughout the case.

"This is an important investigation focused on intercepting the supply of hard drugs such as cocaine, heroin and LSD to our communities," said District Attorney Bruce Brown. "While our courts, law enforcement and prosecutors will continue to provide treatment options for users, it is clear that dealers are preying on people and deserve to be punished."

Saturday's arrests and charges

• William Claborn Mitchell, 23, of Vail: Unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a Level 4 drug felony; unlawful distribution, manufacturing, dispensing or sale, a Level 3 drug felony; unlawful distribution, manufacturing, dispensing or sale, a Level 2 drug felony; and special offenses (conspiracy), a Level 1 drug felony.

• Mark Anthony Smith, 24 of Avon: Unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a Level 4 drug felony; unlawful distribution, manufacturing, dispensing or sale, a Level 3 drug felony; unlawful distribution, manufacturing, dispensing or sale, a Level 2 drug felony; and special offenses (furtherance of a drug trafficking conspiracy), a Level 1 drug offense.

• Joshua Mingook Tubbs, 26 of Vail: Distribution of Schedule II controlled substance, a Level 3 drug felony; possession of Schedule II controlled substance, a Level 4 drug felony; unlawful use of a controlled substance, a Level 2 drug misdemeanor; possession with intent to distribute, a Level 2 drug felony; special offenses (deadly weapon), Level 1 drug felony; and prohibited use of weapon, possession under the influence, a misdemeanor Level 2.

• Calen Stephen Golas, 25 of Vail: Unlawful possession of a controlled substance (multiple counts), drug felony; unlawful distribution, manufacturing, dispensing or sale (multiple counts), drug felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a petty offense.

• Pele Plummer, 24, of Eagle-Vail: Unlawful distribution, manufacturing, dispensing, or sale, a Level 3 drug felony.

• Paul Ryan Fenick, 24, of Avon: Possession of Schedule II controlled substance, a Level 4 drug felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a petty offense.

• Joseph Paul Lohmuller, 23 of Vail: Unlawful distribution, manufacturing, dispensing or sale, a Level 2 drug felony; unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a Level 4 drug felony; and tampering with physical evidence, a Level 6 felony.

• Sean Michael Spellman, 24 of Vail: Unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a Level 4 drug felony; unlawful distribution, manufacturing, dispensing or sale, a Level 3 drug felony; and an unrelated warrant.

Some of the defendants are scheduled to make their first court appearance as early as Monday morning.