Second Colorado man given suspended sentence for cocaine charge


December 26, 2019

A second Colorado man has been sentenced in association with a traffic stop that led to a sizeable cocaine bust on March 30. Paul Williams pled guilty to possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver; the other man, Aaron Gonzales, was recently placed on probation for the same charge.

A Sheriff’s Office Deputy was patrolling I-90 on March 30 when he observed a red SUV with Colorado plates traveling at 97 mph and initiated a traffic stop. While he was speaking to the driver, identified as Williams, Gonzales allegedly began speaking for him.

The deputy reports that the SUV was a rental, but neither Gonzales nor Williams had leased it. Gonzales allegedly stated his “friend” had leased it for him but did not have a copy of the contract.

Williams allegedly claimed the two men were traveling to Bismarck, ND, to see a friend of Gonzales’, though he did not know his name. Williams also denied knowing the friend who rented the SUV.

According to the deputy’s affidavit, Williams met with Gonzales that morning and the two left Denver around noon, taking turns to drive. Williams allegedly said he had known Gonzales “for a bit”.

Williams claimed Gonzales had asked him to travel with him and help with the driving. According to the deputy’s affidavit, Williams denied any knowledge of what was in the vehicle.

When asked how long the pair would be in Bismarck, Williams allegedly first stated until Sunday and later said Thursday or Friday. Dispatch advised that both individuals had revoked drivers licenses and Williams had a protection order against him.

A Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper arrived on scene and watched Williams while the deputy spoke with Gonzales. According to the affidavit, Gonzales claimed he was heading to North Dakota to visit a friend and take him a stroller and baby seat, as well as help him do some jobs with flooring.

Williams gave consent for the vehicle to be searched. In the driver door storage, the deputy allegedly saw a container consistent with marijuana from a dispensary; inside, he observed a green leafy bud.

In the rear compartment, the deputy located a paper sack with a receipt for 14.05 g of marijuana. He also found a gift sack, inside of which was a vacuum-sealed package containing a white substance.

Williams allegedly denied knowledge of the controlled substances and denied any stops other than to get gas during the trip. Gonzales claimed the gift bag was for his friend in North Dakota along with the stroller and car seat, all of which had been given to him by another friend.

The deputy interviewed Williams at the Sheriff’s Office. Williams allegedly continued to deny knowledge of the drugs and told the deputy Gonzales had given him $100 when the trip began and promised him another $200 on arrival.

Williams stated he knew it was a “business” trip for Gonzales but had not asked any questions. The deputy had managed to ascertain that the marijuana was bought around 1:30 p.m. while Williams claimed that Gonzales had picked him up an hour before; Williams allegedly stated he had forgotten about that because they had just begun their trip.

A search of Williams’ phone revealed messages from Gonzales about trips to North Dakota. In one message, Williams allegedly asks about the Colorado license plates and Gonzales states he has made the trip several times without issue and offers $300 to the first person who will commit to taking the trip.

Gonzales allegedly admitted to three prior trips carrying product from Colorado to North Dakota; he does not know what the product is but it is always provided in a gift bag. He stated that Williams knew the reason for the trip.

The seized items were weighed at the Sheriff’s Office. The white substance in the vacuum-sealed package weighed 560 g with packaging and the marijuana from the driver door weighed 0.48 oz.

Testing of the white substance later revealed it to be cocaine.

Williams was sentenced to between five and seven years in jail, with credit for 241 days already served, as well as a $750 fine. The un-served portion of the jail sentence was suspended pending completion of seven years of probation.


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