The Sedalia Police Department’s S.T.I.N.G. Unit, assisted by uniformed officers and members of the Criminal Investigations division, served a search warrant May 29 at the defendant’s home in an apartment building on West Main Street. Officers found marijuana and a variety of prescription pills, including hydrocodone, alprazolam and clonazepam.
The defendant was found guilty of possession of more than 5 grams of marijuana with intent to deliver and three counts of possession of a controlled substance. The defense argued that the defendant was merely a marijuana user and that someone else had left the pills in his home. However, the State’s case included evidence of paraphernalia for weighing and packaging small amounts of drugs and numerous text messages on the defendant’s phone related to the sale of marijuana.
Because the defendant is a persistent drug offender, with two prior felony convictions involving controlled substances, the jury was not asked to recommend sentences. Judge Robert L. Koffman will determine the punishment at a sentencing hearing set March 12.
The rapid return of guilty verdicts reflects the high quality of the investigation we have come to expect from local law enforcement agencies on drug cases.
–Submitted by Pettis County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Mittelhauser