Con man gets prison time for building Aspen shack
A con man who racked up felonies from California to New Jersey was sentenced Monday to prison terms of three and six years for his actions tied to illegally building a shack on Aspen Mountain.
Pitkin County District Judge Chris Seldin noted James Hogue’s “extraordinary” criminal history featuring as many as five felony convictions and multiple misdemeanors — which don’t include his Aspen transgressions — for crimes ranging from theft to fraudulently gaining admittance to Princeton University on a track scholarship when he was in his 30s.
“This is a striking criminal history for its consistency,” Seldin said when delivering the sentence. “And what it tells the court is if Mr. Hogue isn’t in jail or prison or otherwise incarcerated, he’s committing a crime. That’s his way of life. I’ve heard nothing about any mental health issues or substance issues or other explanations for his pattern of behavior, other than this is a lifestyle of a career criminal, from what I can tell.”
Hogue, 57, pleaded guilty in February to felony theft between $2,000 and $5,000, felony possession of burglary tools and misdemeanor obstructing police officers.
Seldin sentenced Hogue to six years in prison for the theft conviction and three years for the possession of tools conviction. The sentences will run concurrently. The judge also sentenced Hogue to 138 days of jail for the misdemeanor conviction, which is credit for the time he has spent in Pitkin County Jail since he was arrested.
Hogue faced presumptive prison ranges of one to three years. Seldin, however, gave him aggravated sentences because the judge determined that Hogue is a chronic offender and a long shot for rehabilitation.