Pubdate: Wed,  1 May 2002
Source: Pueblo Chieftain (CO)
Copyright: 2002 The Star-Journal Publishing Corp.
Author: Erin Smith, The Pueblo Chieftain
Bookmark: (Asset Forfeiture)


ALAMOSA - Sports Auto Center was ordered forfeited for the sale of drugs on 
the premises and will go on the auction block, likely in about 30 days.

In November 2000, the auto center's owner, 70-year-old William Pearsall, 
was arrested for selling 28 pounds of marijuana to two undercover agents. 
Immediately following the controlled buy, Pearsall was arrested.

In Alamosa District Court on Monday, Pearsall claimed there was "no money 
involved" in the deal, and that the two buyers "just grabbed it (the 
marijuana) and ran."

Saying he was under stress and in shock, Pearsall was vague about his 
guilty plea to possession of more than 8 ounces of marijuana, for which he 
spent 45 days in jail, and about signing a forfeiture document. He said 
officers "gave me no choice. It was sign it or else." He blamed his 
attorney for "not advising me of the seriousness" of the situation.

Pearsall claimed he sold the property, located at 8196 Stockton Ave., in 
March 2000 to Moses Vargas, but Vargas did not record the deed until July 
11, 2001. According to the deed, he paid only $1.

As a result, Vargas was joined in the forfeiture action but never responded 
to court queries. He was declared in default and the judgment entered to 
sell the Sports Auto Center and turn the proceeds over to the sheriff's 
department. (Vargas ran for Alamosa County sheriff four years ago and has 
picked up a candidate's packet for the same office this year.)

It was the first time in Alamosa County history that a piece of real estate 
has been forfeited for drug sales, Sheriff Dave Stong said.

At the same time District Attorney Peter Comar filed forfeiture proceedings 
on the Sports Auto Center, he filed a forfeiture action on the Tequila 
Rush, a local bar that lost its license in the wake of drug sale charges 
against its owner, Anthony DeHerrera, 33.

DeHerrera has deeded the business over to the city for sale but the city 
council has not decided whether to accept the business, which has a bank 
loan on it that must be paid off.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom