Drug trial postponed until April


A judge on Thursday postponed the trial of a man accused of selling cocaine.

Jesus Alvarez Frias, 42, has been charged with selling the drug from his home, which is near Soda Creek Elementary School.

Steamboat Springs attorney Ron Smith, who was appointed Tuesday to represent Alvarez Frias, told Judge Michael O'Hara it was unfair to proceed with a scheduled hearing because Smith said he hadn't had a chance to look at the case file.

The trial was moved from February to April.

Smith was appointed to the case after attorney Leslie Goldstein told the court she thought there was a conflict of interest with her representing Alvarez Frias.

Goldstein told County Judge James Garrecht last week that while reviewing Alvarez Frias' case files, she came across the name of a former client and thought it was unethical for her to continue representing Alvarez Frias knowing she had represented a man listed in his case.

Garrecht decided her representation could pose a conflict, and he appointed Smith. Smith is the third attorney to have been appointed to Alvarez Frias' case since he was arrested in June.

Before Gold--stein, Heather Turner represented Alvarez Frias. Tur--ner had her law license suspended three weeks ago.

Alvarez Frias is facing two drug-related charges in Routt County, one of which has been bound over to District Court. In that case, Alvarez Frias is charged with distributing a controlled Schedule 2 substance, a Class 3 felony. He is facing a harsher sentencing in that case because he is accused of selling the cocaine from his home, which is within 100 feet of Soda Creek Elementary School. He also is charged with two counts of possessing a controlled Schedule 2 substance, Class 4 felonies.

O'Hara scheduled the two-day trial for April 6 and 7. O'Hara also scheduled a motions hearing for 1 p.m. March 10.

-- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com


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