Driver in Baggs chase pleads guilty Tuesday

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A Wyoming man who allegedly led police on a chase to Baggs, Wyo., in early December pleaded guilty in state district court Tuesday to one felony count of vehicular eluding. Two other felony charges were dropped in the case, according to the plea agreement.

Luis Colon, 28, was arrested by police at gunpoint in Baggs on Dec. 3 after he allegedly stole a 2003 Chevy Cavalier from the parking lot of Craig's Pizza Hut.

Law enforcement officers chased Colon about 40 miles north on Colorado Highway 13 across the state line into Baggs, where Colorado State Patrol trooper Marty Smith tapped the Cavalier with a police cruiser causing the Chevy to spin and become lodged in a snow bank.

Colon faces from one to three years in prison or his sentence could be deferred to spend time at Correctional Alternative Placement Services, or CAPS, District Judge Paul McLimans said. Colon may have to pay restitution, but that amount is unclear. Colon is scheduled for sentencing Feb. 25.

Two other cases were heard in district court Tuesday.

Meth sentencing

A Craig man was sentenced to four years in the Colorado Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to a felony charge of possession of more than a gram of methamphetamine.

Though police had videotaped footage of Jerry Flannery, 41, trying to sell to methamphetamine to an anonymous source in a July 18 incident, seven other drug-related charges in the case were dropped in exchange for the guilty plea.

Flannery's attorney, Sheryl Uhlmann, advocated for a jail sentence of two to three years because Flannery reportedly had been on good terms with jail officials while incarcerated at the Moffat County Jail during a lengthy court process. But District Judge Paul McLimans weighed two prior unrelated felony convictions and "inexplicable behavior by someone who's not a bad guy" against Flannery.

"Frankly, while I hope you change your stripes, I have little optimism that you will," McLimans said. "You're stuck with the consequences of your conduct."

Pot for soda pop case

A Craig man who tried to trade marijuana for a soft drink at a convenience store pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of possession of 1 to 8 ounces of marijuana in the case.

Ryan Milner, 23, was initially charged as a "special offender" in the case for distributing drugs within 1,000 feet of Craig Middle School. The April 22 incident occurred at Craig's north-end Kum & Go.

Milner's attorney in the case, Erick Nordstrom, said he wasn't surprised that the special offender charge was dropped after he filed a motion for its dismissal. The extra charge carries a minimum sentence of eight years in prison to a maximum of 25 years.

"(The special offender charge) should have never been filed," Nordstrom said. "I still don't think that's what the statute had in mind."

In a separate case, Milner also pleaded guilty to a felony charge of second-degree burglary.

Other charges and another alleged theft case were dismissed in the deal. Milner could face 18 months in county jail, probation and as much as $500,000 in fines for both pleas.

Milner is scheduled for sentencing March 15.

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