GREENVILLE — The bench trial of a Gettysburg, Ohio, man accused of drug trafficking began Tuesday in Darke County Common Pleas Court.
Christopher A. Silcott, 44, was arrested at his girlfriend’s Gettysburg residence July 25 by Darke County Sheriff’s Deputies following a sting operation. He is charged with possession of methamphetamine, a second-degree felony, trafficking methamphetamine and having weapons under disability, both third-degree felonies, and possessing criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony.
His girlfriend, Jamie R. Hampshire, 38, was also arrested, charged with aggravated possession, a second-degree felony. In exchange for her testimony for the prosecution, a charge of permitting drug abuse, a fifth-degree felony, was dropped. She is expected to enter a guilty plea October 23 and awaits sentencing.
In addition to methamphetamine, detectives searching the residence seized a handgun, ammunition, cash, marijuana, a ledger detailing drug transactions, and drug paraphernalia. Silcott has a lengthy criminal record dating back more than 20 years, including convictions for illegal manufacture of drugs.
Silcott was represented in court by defense attorney Matthew Pierron. Assistant Prosecutor Deborah Quigley represented the state.
The prosecution called four witnesses to testify: Hampshire, a confidential informant who purchased methamphetamine from the defendant, and two Sheriff’s Office investigators. The defense called no witnesses, and Silcott did not testify on his own behalf.
Quigley, in her closing statement to the court, said selling drugs was how Silcott supported himself.
“This was not just a whim to support his habit, this was his lifestyle, this is how he paid for his lifestyle,” she said.
In his closing statement, Pierron called into question the reliability of the confidential informant, who also sold and used drugs, and this lack of reliability should have disqualified the search warrant.
“The defense would argue that [the confidential informant] is not a reliable informant,” he said. “There needs to be a track record of credibility and reliability. The [confidential informant’s] track record is sketchy at best.”
Common Pleas Court Judge Jonathan P. Hein said he would likely issue his verdict Wednesday or Thursday.
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