Former DEA Agent May Need Alcohol Class

by: Mike Miller

Should police officers be held to a higher standard? I think so. This is especially true when it comes to drinking and driving. The question then begs to be asked if they still should be held to a higher standard after they have left their post. In this case there is something extraordinary – did local law enforcement officials have a vendetta against a former DEA agent.

According to the Aspen Times, a former law-enforcement agent who was a member of the Drug Enforcement Administration task force that dismantled an Aspen, Colorado cocaine ring was arrested for DUI.

Paul Pedersen made headlines last summer when he revealed that former Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis and current Sheriff Joe DiSalvo were close friends with the purported leader of the drug ring.

When he was arrested Pederson had weapons and an open container in his vehicle.

The 38-year-old Pedersen was pulled over at 1:31 a.m.. He refused to take a roadside test and had an odor of alcohol on his breath, glassy eyes, slurred speech and an unsteady balance.

Obviously there is now tension between the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office and federal law-enforcement agencies. The DEA did not inform the Sheriff's Office of its investigation or arrests of six Aspen-area residents last May, because of what it said were “close ties” between DiSalvo and some of the suspects.

And, over the last three or four months, FBI agents have been questioning current and former Pitkin County residents about conduct at the Sheriff's Office, DiSalvo said Friday. DiSalvo said both he and Braudis have run a clean operation and have nothing to hide.

Because of this tension the case has been moved to another county for trial.

Time will tell if he was treated unfairly by local law enforcement. Results of the blood-alcohol test have not been revealed. I would certainly hope that local police did not have a vendetta against a man for doing his job. He could use a Colorado alcohol class in the meantime.