DA dismisses drug charges

Concerns raised about actions of former GRAMNET agent

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— Felony drug charges filed against a 26-year-old Steamboat Springs man have been dismissed because of concerns about the actions of the drug agent who worked the case.

On Wednesday, Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James dismissed three felony drug charges against Jonas Butterworth. The charges included distribution of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and distribution of marijuana.

The charges stemmed from a drug investigation that was conducted by Glenn A. Roessner, a former Grand, Routt and Moffat Narcotics Enforcement agent.

According to court records, St. James dismissed the charges because the "state has sufficient concerns relative to the propriety of the search in this case such that the interest of justice requires dismissal of the charges."

The dismissal of the charges occurred about a week after the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office requested a special prosecutor to investigate Roessner's handling of Butterworth's case as well as a Grand County case.

Routt County Judge James Garrecht has appointed 5th Judicial District Attorney Michael Goodbee to investigate Roessner, who is no longer employed by the Grand County Sheriff's Office.

Dwight Murphy, who is the GRAMNET project manager, said he became concerned about Roessner's actions after reviewing paperwork in connection with the cases Roessner worked.

"There are some inconsistencies," Murphy said.

Roessner started as a deputy with the Grand County Sheriff's Office in November 1999. In August 2000, he was assigned to GRAMNET.

Roessner's Oct. 19 departure from the Grand County Sheriff's office is not connected to the investigation that is being conducted. "Roessner planned to leave," Murphy said.

Grand County Sheriff Rod Johnson said Roessner had plans to leave his office in August because he was going to work in Colorado Springs for his father's roofing company.

Johnson said he did not know the details of the Grand County case involving Roessner. However, court records detail Roessner's investigation of Butterworth.

On the evening of Nov. 10, 2000, Roessner was working undercover at a Steamboat Springs bar.

During the drug operation, Roessner took a green backpack that had been left unattended inside the bar. The backpack contained about 4 ounces of marijuana and three ecstasy pills but did not include information about who owned the backpack, records show.

Butterworth placed a newspaper advertisement reporting the missing backpack, and Roessner got in touch with Butterworth. The two men met the evening of Nov. 17, 2000, and Roessner allegedly gave Butterworth $100 for the marijuana and the pills.

Roessner did not seek an arrest warrant for Butterworth until April 4, 2001.

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