Attorney pleads not guilty to meth dealing

A Palisade bankruptcy attorney accused of dealing methamphetamine out of his home and office pleaded not guilty Thursday to all charges.

James Zink, 54, appeared free on bond before District Judge Valerie Robison and was represented by private attorney Gordon Gallagher, who told the judge Zink’s cases “may or may not” be resolved with a plea agreement before trial. Chief Deputy District Attorney Dan Rubinstein said a plea offer has been extended.

Jury trials are scheduled in February and March.

Zink was arrested at his home in Palisade, which also doubles as his law practice, on July 22 when officers with the Western Colorado Drug Task Force served him with a warrant related to an alleged drug buy at the property in April.

According to arrest affidavits, a confidential informant working for federal agents set up a deal to purchase meth from Zink on April 19. Officers that day listened in as the informant bought roughly one gram of suspected meth for $200, the affidavits say.

While officers were at Zink’s home July 22, they found a half ounce of meth, an unspecified quantity of psilocybin mushrooms, numerous firearms and paraphernalia commonly associated with drug dealing, according to the affidavit.

Zink is charged with possession and distribution of methamphetamine, in addition to a sentence-enhancing, special-offender charge.

Zink’s law practice opened in Palisade in 1983.

According to the Colorado Supreme Court’s Web site, Zink’s law license in Colorado is still active and in “good standing,” with the state’s high court.


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