MOUNT VERNON — The trial in Knox County Common Pleas Court of an alleged drug dealer that started Tuesday will continue today with testimony from at least three more witnesses.
Paul D. Scott, 50, was indicted in April on two counts of aggravated trafficking of drugs, both second-degree felonies, due to the amount and the fact that the events allegedly happened within 1000 feet of a school.
After the jury was selected, Knox County Prosecuting Attorney Chip McConville and Public Defender John Pyle presented their sides of the case to the seven men and five women in the panel and the two alternates.
According to McConville’s opening statement, Scott is accused of selling 3.25 grams of meth to a confidential informant twice, once on March 7 and once on March 22 of this year — and he stated there were audio records and several witnesses to go with his case.
In Pyle’s opening statement, he pointed out that there wasn’t any video, DNA or fingerprint evidence and the case is more about ‘what we don’t have.’
Several law enforcement officials testified on the stand and each of them explained the use of a confidential informant in this particular case.
Mount Vernon Detective Corporal James DeChant testified that he was active at the first controlled buy and assisted in preparing the confidential informant prior to the informant going to the 1000 block of Vine Street to make the purchase.
He explained that the Mount Vernon Police Department uses informants to make controlled drug buys and utilizes technology to record the transaction to verify the sale and the identities. DeChant also stated that the informants do the job for several different reasons and in this particular case, the informant had a drug charge of their significant other dropped in exchange for the involvement in the case.
McConville played both of the recordings in court — which were roughly 20 minutes apiece — and then Pyle questioned the sound quality of the recording, the motivation of the confidential informant and the lack of additional use of technology such as cameras or recording of communications between the informant and Scott in the pre-buying stage.
Mount Vernon Detective Jessica Butler was present at both of the transactions and testified that the informant came to her and presented an opportunity to make a purchase from Scott in exchange for a drug charge being dropped. Butler echoed DeChant when she said that both of transactions were identical and monitored and recorded. She also pointed out that the substance that was purchased tested positive for meth in field tests after both instances.
Two forensic scientists from BCI in Richfield then testified that each of the purchases tested positive for meth and were heavy enough to be considered ‘above the bulk amount’ when they were both sent to the lab after they were acquired.
The final witness Tuesday was the confidential informant who testified that he had in fact worked with the drug authorities to purchase drugs in exchange for charges being dropped for their significant other. The informant identified Scott as the person he had purchased the drugs from and during cross examination, Pyle questioned the motivation of the informant and mentioned the informant’s history with drugs.
The trial is scheduled to continue today.
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