Man sentenced on porn charge

Following sentence, DA dismisses Routt County drug charges

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— The District Attorney's Office dismissed drug charges a former Strawberry Park Hot Springs manager faced because the man was sentenced to a federal prison term on separate charges last month.

Jason Craig, 31, was sentenced to 6.5 years in a U.S. federal prison in December for possessing child pornography.

Craig, of Steamboat Springs, was not present at a hearing Wednesday when Deputy District Attorney Andy Heyl agreed to dismiss felony marijuana cultivation and marijuana possession charges Craig was facing.

District Judge Shelley Hill accepted the dismissal saying the decision "makes sense."

Craig was arrested by Steamboat Springs police officers in August 2006 on suspicion of trading child pornography. The Steamboat Springs Police Department apprehended Craig after assisting an FBI investigation focusing on him. During the search of Craig's Steamboat Springs home, police allegedly found 8 ounces of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Charles Feldmann, Craig's attorney, said Wednesday that Craig pleaded guilty in a U.S. Federal Court in Denver to possessing child pornography, and a second charge of distributing child pornography was dismissed, he said.

In addition to the 6.5 years of federal prison Craig was sentenced to, he will serve a three-year parole upon his release and is required to register as a sex offender.

Feldmann said several "aggravating factors" were taken into consideration when Craig was sentenced including the fact that the child pornography exploited children under 12 years of age, included sadistic and masochistic material and the fact that he used a computer to house more than 600 pornographic images. Craig could have faced more time in prison but was cooperative with federal officials and "accepted responsibility for his actions," Feldmann said.

Craig did not have a prior criminal history, he said.

In other court action Wednesday:

- Routt County Court Judge James Garrecht ordered that seized property be returned to a man who was under investigation of possessing child pornography. All charges against the man have been dismissed.

Two laptops, about 100 CDs, seven floppy discs and three CPU towers will be returned to 44-year-old Anthony Carlson following Garrecht's decision.

- Hill rejected a plea agreement reached between the DA's Office and a 19-year-old Colorado Mountain College student accused of selling marijuana.

Anthony Baca was arrested in December on suspicion of selling marijuana after police reportedly found 25 grams of marijuana in another student's dorm room. Baca allegedly told police the marijuana was his.

Adam Mayo, Baca's attorney, said Hill called the 1-year deferred felony drug charge the DA's Office had agreed to, "too lenient," and rejected the plea.

After rejecting the plea, Hill bound Baca's case over to District Court where his next scheduled court date is an arraignment at 9 a.m. Jan. 10.

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