Drug offenders strike bargains

Two area men arrested last fall in separate drug incidents are making a deal with the Gunnison District Court to reduce their punishments.



Thirty-eight year old Crested Butte resident David Bryson was arrested last September after a package containing cocaine was sent to the wrong address. The recipient unknowingly opened the package and found it contained a plastic bag with a white powdery substance. The package was taken to the Crested Butte Marshals, who obtained a search warrant and found an electric scale, small plastic bags and other evidence of cocaine distribution at Bryson’s address.
Bryson accepted a plea agreement that was signed by Judge Steven Patrick and filed in Gunnison District Court on January 23. In the agreement, Bryson pleads guilty to a single charge of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. Bryson was sentenced to 75 days in jail with work release, 192 hours of community service, four years of probation and mandatory weekly substance abuse meetings.
Sixty-two-year-old Mt. Crested Butte resident Rolf Zienau was arrested by the Crested Butte Marshals last October in a sting operation that also involved the assistance of the Fruita Police Department and a narcotics detection police dog named Feisty. According to court records, the police found evidence of cocaine residue in numerous areas of Zienau’s residence and vehicle, as well as a plastic bag with approximately 35 grams of cocaine. Additionally, the police seized approximately $10,000 in cash from his residence, most of it in separate rolls of $1,000.
Zienau will face a sentencing hearing on March 27 in Gunnison District Court. A plea agreement was filed in court on February 25, in which Zienau agrees to a suggested punishment of 75 straight days in jail or 150 days with a work release, along with four years of probation. Zienau also agrees to forfeit all the cash seized in the search, as well as his vehicle.
Possession of cocaine with intent to distribute is a class three felony that carries a presumptive range of punishment of four to 12 years in prison.

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