Two Men Waive Hearings in Drug Case
DUBOIS – Two men arrested recently for selling drugs out of a DuBois residence waived their rights to preliminary hearings Friday during Centralized Court.
Damon W. Seldon, 30, 102 Quarry Ave., DuBois, is charged with manufacture/delivery/possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Vernon Dontae Duncan, 26, 1526 W. Louden St., Philadelphia, is charged with eight counts of manufacture/delivery/possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, seven counts of possession of a controlled substance, four counts of criminal use of communication facility, possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of possession of firearm prohibited.
Both are incarcerated at the Clearfield County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Duncan’s attorney, Michael Marshall asked District Judge Patrick N. Ford to reduce his bail. First Assistant District Attorney Beau Grove argued that these are serious charges and if convicted, Duncan who has a previous record, is looking at a sentence of 10 years due to the weight of the cocaine and the firearms charges. Ford denied the request to lower his bail.
The charges stem from an undercover operation beginning on Feb. 5 when an agent of the attorney general’s office and a confidential informant made contact with an individual known as “V” who was selling marijuana and cocaine from a Quarry Street residence.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, two agents went to that apartment, where they were able to purchase a half ounce of marijuana. They saw Duncan pull plastic bags, a digital scale and a gallon bag with marijuana in it from a dresser. He weighed the marijuana and then put it the bags before selling it to them.
One of the agents asked if he could call Duncan if he wanted more marijuana and Duncan said yes. He added the agent’s number to his cell phone. The agent later received a text from Duncan asking if he liked what he bought and advising him he had more available.
The agent arranged another visit to the apartment on Feb. 14. This time he was let in by a larger, black male. There was a strong odor of marijuana in the air. This agent asked Duncan if he could get an ounce of “weed” and stated that he was also looking for some “white”, meaning cocaine. Duncan replied that he could definitely help him out. Duncan took him back to the same bedroom where he took a red duffle bag out of a closet. He then took a plastic bag of marijuana out of the duffle bag. He opened a dresser drawer and removed some white powder, which he weighed on the scale. He put it in a plastic bag and knotted it. Duncan gave both bags to the agent and told him he could see him anytime.
On March 3, the agent received a text message from Duncan requesting a return call. When the agent spoke with Duncan, he said “white” and “green” were in. The next day, the agent met again with Duncan at the residence. He was able to purchase both cocaine and marijuana, which Duncan had in his bedroom. The agent asked if he could purchase two eight balls of cocaine the following day. Duncan replied that this was not a problem.
A search warrant was obtained and executed on the residence on March 5. Both Duncan and Seldon were inside the apartment at the time. Numerous items were seized from Duncan’s bedroom, including two handguns, a marijuana grinder, two digital scales, $350 in cash, three plastic bags of marijuana, a plastic bag of cocaine and 10 syringes.
In Seldon’s bedroom, police found two digital scales, a marijuana grinder, a marijuana pipe, marijuana and two hand guns. In the living room, police found two smoking devices, a digital scale and a triple beam scale.
Seldon told police that Duncan was staying at his apartment, and that he was aware he was selling marijuana, but he claimed he did not know what else was in Duncan’s bedroom. Seldon admitted the items in Seldon’s bedroom belonged to him and he also said the items in the living room belonged to him.
A background check revealed that Duncan is not permitted to possess firearms due to previous drug convictions.