MOUNT VERNON — A Mount Vernon man was found guilty of two drug charges in a jury trial that concluded late Wednesday in Knox County Common Pleas Court.
A jury of seven men and five women found Paul D. Scott, 50, guilty of two charges of aggravated trafficking of drugs, both felonies of the second degree.
The jury deliberated for two-and-a-half hours and determined Scott was not only guilty of the two charges but that the sales constituted bulk amounts and sold within 1,000 feet of a school both times.
The second day of the two-day trial consisted of four witnesses — three of whom were law enforcement detectives involved in arranging the two controlled buys between a confidential informant and Scott at a residence on West Vine Street in Mount Vernon.
The first of the three detectives was Terry Wolfe of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office who testified that he often worked with Mount Vernon Police Detective Jessica Butler on drug cases and did help with setting up one of the two buys in this particular instance. Prosecuting Attorney Chip McConville asked Wolfe about his experiences in past drug cases and Scott’s attorney John Pyle asked about the lack of video recordings in this particular case.
Mount Vernon Police detectives Matt Haver and Timothy Arnold testified after Wolfe, and both said that they were involved in the execution of the controlled buys between the confidential informant and Scott.
Haver, who has been with the MVPD since 2001, said that he has had many interactions with Scott and recognized his voice on the tapes of the transactions. He testified that he was at both of the buys and kept the informant under surveillance during each transaction.
Arnold testified that he was with Haver much of the time during both instances and not only helped search the vehicle and the informant, but watched and listened to the informant as he performed the transactions with Scott.
On cross examination, Pyle asked about fingerprints and DNA testing of the samples and both detectives said that neither purchase was tested for anything other than if the drugs were in fact meth.
The one non-law enforcement witness was Justin Smith, who is a Knox County Engineer who keeps and designs maps of the county for various reasons, including for tax records.
Smith used one of the nine exhibits in the trial to show the jury, in an aerial photo and map of the Vine Street area, that a school was 300 feet away from the purchase location.
After closing arguments by both McConville and Pyle, the jury determined after a little more than two hours that Scott was guilty on both counts.
His sentencing was scheduled for August 22 and Judge Richard D. Wetzel ordered him held without bond until then.