Pair charged in DuBois drug bust waives hearings|
Saturday, March 16, 2013
By Jeff Corcino Staff Writer
Two DuBois men arrested in a drug sting last week waived their right to preliminary hearings yesterday before Magisterial District Judge Patrick N. Ford yesterday.
Vernon D. Duncan, 26, of Philadelphia is charged with manufacture/delivery/ possession with intent to manufacture, deliver or posses a controlled substance, criminal use of communication facility, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of firearm prohibited.
Damon W. Seldon, 30, of Quarry Avenue, DuBois is charged with possession of controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and manufacture/delivery/ possession with intent to manufacture or deliver.
Both men are incarcerated the Clearfield County Jail in lieu of $100,000 straight bail. Duncan and his attorney Michael Marshall asked his bail be reduced to $50,000 straight. But Assistant District Attorney Beau Grove said because of Duncan's prior record, the location of the drug sales being within a school zone and firearms being present, Duncan is looking at a mandatory of 10 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
Because of this, Ford said he is denying the request for a reduction in bail.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, an undercover agent with the Bureau of Narcotics of the Attorney General's office with the assistance of a confidential informant set up a drug purchase with a male known as "V" (Duncan) who lived at an apartment at 102 Quarry Avenue, DuBois.
On Feb. 5, at approximately 4 p.m. the undercover agent went to the Quarry Avenue apartment while other agents and police officers ran surveillance outside.
Duncan invited the undercover agent inside. The two went into a bedroom where the agent negotiated the purchase of slightly more than half an ounce of marijuana for $80, which Duncan measured on a digital scale and placed inside two small plastic bags.
Duncan told the agent he could call him anytime to get more marijuana and the two exchanged phone numbers and the agent exited the apartment at approximately 4:15 p.m.
The agents and officers returned to the DuBois City Police Station and field-tested the drugs, which were positive for marijuana.
On Feb. 14, the undercover agent called Duncan asking if he could stop by at approximately 2 p.m. and Duncan agreed.
The undercover agent, along with another agent from the AG's office arrived at the apartment at 2:45 p.m. A male (Seldon) answered the door and let them inside where they were greeted by Duncan.
Duncan invited them into his bedroom where they negotiated the purchase of an ounce of marijuana and some cocaine for $250.
On March 3 at approximately 5 p.m., the undercover agent received a text message from Duncan asking him to call him as soon as possible. The agent called back approximately 30 minutes later and Duncan informed the agent that a shipment of cocaine and marijuana had come in and was available for purchase.
The agent told him he would call him back tomorrow.
On March 4, the agent sent a text to Duncan asking how much an "8-ball" (1/8 ounce) of cocaine would cost. Duncan replied $350 and the two agreed on a price of $325.
At 8:13 p.m. the undercover agent met with Duncan at the Quarry Avenue apartment where Duncan offered to sell the agent the cocaine and a half an ounce of marijuana.
The agent said he would pay for the cocaine now but asked if he could front him the marijuana and said he would pay him the next day.
Duncan agreed and he measured out the 1/8th ounce of a white powdery substance and the half an ounce of marijuana on a digital scale and placed them in small plastic bags and the agent paid Duncan and left the apartment
The drugs were taken back to the DuBois City police station where they tested positive for cocaine and marijuana.
On March 5, members of the AG's office along with the Clearfield County Drug Task Force and the DuBois City Police Department conducted a search warrant at the Quarry Avenue apartment.
Inside Duncan's bedroom, they found two firearms, a Walther 22-caliber handgun and a FMJ single shot 45-caliber handgun, a bag of cocaine and three bags of marijuana, two digital scales, $350 in cash, a silver marijuana grinder and 10 syringes.
Inside Seldon's bedroom, police found two digital scales, a marijuana grinder, a glass marijuana smoking pipe, a loaded Davis 380 caliber handgun, a Walther 380 handgun and a bag of marijuana.
Inside the living room, police found two glass marijuana smoking pipes, and a hookah marijuana smoking device, a digital scale and a triple beam scale.
Police interviewed Seldon at the DuBois City Police Station where he told officers he knew Duncan was selling marijuana in his bedroom but didn't know of anything else he had.
Seldon said the marijuana, paraphernalia and firearms found in his bedroom and in the living room were his and the items found in Duncan's bedroom belonged to Duncan.
He also told police that he was the renter of the apartment and his friend Duncan was staying with him for the past couple of months. Seldon also said he was planning on moving because Duncan's marijuana sales were getting out of hand.
After conducting a criminal history check on Duncan, police discovered he was not permitted to own firearms and the firearms were in close proximity to the illegal drugs.