GREENVILLE — The day following his bench trial on drug trafficking charges, a Gettysburg, Ohio, man learned his fate in Darke County Common Pleas Court.
Common Pleas Court Judge Jonathan P. Hein found Christopher A. Silcott, 44, guilty on all four counts and sentenced him to five years in prison, with 116 days credited.
Silcott was arrested July 25 in Gettysburg as a result of a sting operation, and was 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.
Silcott’s defense attorney, Matthew Pierron, argued that the confidential informant utilized by the Darke County Sheriff’s Office to purchase methamphetamine from Silcott was untrustworthy. The prosecution, however, played a 30-minute video of the transaction, which took place at the home of the defendant and his girlfriend, Jamie R. Hampshire. The video, plus physical evidence seized by detectives and the prosecution’s witnesses, all served to undercut Silcott’s defense.
Assistant Prosecutor Deborah Quigley asked the court to sentence Silcott to seven years in prison, calling him the “top of the ladder” of drug dealers in the county.
“This is a situation where the defendant was a major drug dealer in Darke County — he was doing this for the money,” she told the court.
Silcott, who remained silent during the entirety of the trial, spoke on his own behalf during sentencing, telling the judge he has changed since being arrested.
“All my life I’ve been a ‘bad guy,’ but this time is different,” he said, adding that he had sought treatment for his drug addiction in the past but his parole officer had not been cooperative.
“You’re 44, maybe you’re finally getting it, but at this point in time it’s a hollow argument that other people should have taken responsibility for a problem you knew you had,” said Judge Hein.
In addition to prison time, Silcott was ordered to pay fines totalling $12,500 and pay court costs and lab fees. The firearm and cash seized by detectives were forfeited to the state. Upon completing his sentence, Silcott will be subject to three years of post-release control. He has 30 days to appeal.
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