David Aspen avoids life sentence over Windsor heroin bust
Plea deal struck Monday has two-year minimum jail sentence
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - A Windsor man who’d been facing the possibility of up to life in prison after he allegedly admitted to selling large amounts of heroin in 2014 reached a plea deal with the state on Monday that could see him furloughed in under two year’s time.
David Aspen, 28, the father of two young children, pled guilty to an amended count of felony possession of heroin and in return the state got rid of the two felony sale and delivery of heroin charges which had originally been filed against him back in March. The habitual offender notice that could have sent him away for life also went away as part of the plea agreement.
Aspen was sentenced Monday to 2-to-5 years to serve, with credit for the time he’s been in pre-trial detention since March and a recommendation that he be allowed to serve his sentence at the Correction’s Department’s “Work Camp” which could potentially speed up his release date.
In January of this year Aspen had gotten out of the Grafton County Jail in New Hampshire where he’d been placed on probation for an underlying 3-to-7 year sentence for selling narcotics in the Granite State.
Aspen has been held in jail in Vermont for lack of bail ever since his arraignment in March on charges stemming from an October 2014 raid when Windsor Police officers executed a search warrant at his Main Street apartment.
Aspen at the defense table Monday with his attorney, Daniel Maguire, at the Windsor County Courthouse
Detective Ryan Palmer said at the time that Aspen was in the apartment with his girlfriend and their baby along with “a number of illicit controlled substances including 52 bags of heroin.”
Police also reported finding cut “snorting straws,” a crack pipe, a jar of marijuana, eight Buprenorphine pills, two Suboxone strips, as well as a couple of Clonazepam and Lorazepam pills.
The search also turned up $2,176 in cash, Detective Palmer wrote, adding, “it should be noted that at the time Aspen had no legitimate employment or source of income.”
“Aspen admitted selling between 80 and 100 bags of heroin a day as well as ingesting approximately 20 bags of heroin per day (himself),” Palmer continued, writing that Aspen identified his drug supplier as Jonathan “Teddy” Stack of Holyoke, Massachusetts.
Jonathan "Teddy" Stack, of Holyoke, Massachusetts, was sentenced last year
Stack was the focus of a major investigation into regional drug dealing that began that month and in September of 2015 Stack pled guilty in Vermont to a single count of acting as an accessory to heroin trafficking as part of a plea deal that resulted in Stack receiving a 5-to-10 year “to serve” sentence in jail.
On Monday, Windsor County Deputy State’s Attorney Glenn Barnes successfully urged Judge Theresa DiMauro to accept the plea agreement in Aspen’s case. “The state took a look at various factors, including his prior criminal record and also his relative youth and felt this was an appropriate resolution,” Barnes told the court, explaining it calls for “two years of incarceration followed by a three-year parole or furlough period when perhaps (Aspen) can address some of the substance abuse issued that led him to be in this situation where he possessed that amount of heroin and was allegedly engaged in the sale of heroin on behalf of parties higher up in the food chain.”
As a teenager in 2008 going by the street nickname “Spins,” Aspen was convicted of two felony counts of selling crack cocaine in the parking lot of the Cumberland Farms in Windsor just months after he’d successfully had two felony counts of burglary and grand larceny disposed of by participating in a court diversion program for first time offenders.
In 2012 Aspen was convicted of felony possession of heroin in Massachusetts after police in Holyoke caught him in a car inside a school zone with another heroin dealer holding 75 bags of heroin with two bags of PCP and $847 in cash in his pockets.