A grand jury for the 5th Judicial District has returned several indictments charging nine individuals with felony drug offenses including conspiracy to distribute drugs. The indictments follow a three-month Vail Police Department investigation into drug trafficking in the community.
In the early morning of June 27, Vail police detectives arrested eight people on felony drug and weapons charges; a related arrest was also made that afternoon. Seven of the nine individuals indicted by the grand jury were among those previously arrested by Vail police investigators.
In addition to the June 27 arrests, Vail police detectives secured warrants and searched two locations in West Vail; the homes are places the suspects lived or spent time. Firearms were found in both locations and police seized cash and numerous types of drugs including: cocaine, MDMA (ecstasy), LSD, ketamine and heroin. More than 700 hits of LSD were seized; the seized cocaine has a street value of approximately $30,000. Two handguns were seized as evidence, including one handgun that the ATF confirmed as stolen during a burglary of a sporting goods store in Kansas. Three vehicles used to conduct drug activity were also seized.
The drug activity spanned the Vail community, including commercial areas and residential neighborhoods. Vail police investigators identified a nexus of criminal activity to The Underground bar at 304 Bridge St. in Vail Village. Detectives shared information with criminal investigators for the Colorado State Liquor Enforcement Division which resulted in the Colorado Division of Revenue issuance of a Summary Suspension of the tavern liquor license for the establishment. As a result of the enforcement action, the bar has been closed since June 27.
“Our department remains vigilant and tenacious in protecting the safety and security of our community,” said Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger. “Enforcement is one part of a comprehensive approach to the problems of drug abuse and drug-related crime. Drug trafficking and illicit drug abuse threatens a sense of security in neighborhoods, contributes to violence and often ruins the lives of drug users and their families.” Henninger continued that the community support is appreciated, “Our community has reached out to us, thanking the officers involved and expressing relief over the removal of drug dealers from their community."
"Excellent police work in this case has led to the arrest of several drug dealers and the closing of a key organizing and distributing point for harmful hard drugs in Vail," said District Attorney Bruce Brown. "Prosecutors, law enforcement and the courts will continue our two-pronged attack on drug use in Colorado. Step one is to provide treatment for users and step two is to remove the dealer-predators from our communities," Brown added.
Those charged include:
William Claborn Mitchell, age 23 of Vail
Mark Anthony Smith, age 24 of Avon
Joshua Mingook Tubbs, age 26 of Vail
Calen Stephen Golas, age 25 of Vail
Pele Robert Nesta Plummer, age 24 from Eagle-Vail
Paul Ryan Fenick, age 24 of Avon
Christiaan Jakobus De Jager, age 34 of Vail
Henry Aaron Mills, age 22 of Vail (no photo available)
Nico Joseph Rogozinski, age 24 (no photo available)
Note: All persons charged with crimes are presumed innocent until the contrary is proven in a court of law. For more information, contact Detective Sgt. Annette Dopplick with the Vail Police Department at 970-479-2346 or Thomas Kelly with the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office at 303-990-7176.