Scott convicted on heroin sale charges
IRON MOUNTAIN — A jury Wednesday found a Crystal Falls man guilty of selling heroin to a police informant in the Iron Mountain-Kingsford area twice in March.
Jurors deliberated for six hours Wednesday before convicting Paul Dwayne Scott, 36, on two counts of delivery of heroin, a 20-year felony.
Judge Mary Barglind set sentencing for Oct. 16 in Dickinson County Circuit Court, at which time she also will rule on Scott’s reported habitual offender-fourth status, which could increase the maximum penalty to life.
Throughout Scott’s three-day trial, the prosecution claimed he twice sold two “bindles” of heroin to a police informant for $150, on March 9 outside the Dickinson County Memorial Hospital in Iron Mountain and March 26 outside ManorCare Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Kingsford.
Each time, Scott and his co-defendant, Heather Brazeika, picked up the informant in their vehicle and drove around about five minutes before dropping him off in the same place, according to testimony.
However, the defense maintained the informant framed Scott by hiding heroin in his underwear and turning that over to police. Scott testified he and Brazeika only picked up the informant on the two dates because the informant wanted to repay money he owed Scott.
In closing arguments Wednesday, Dickinson County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Kristin Kass noted police officers had eyes on the informant at all times during the buys and thoroughly searched the informant both before and after each incident.
She rejected the idea the 20-year-old informant could outsmart multiple officers with years of experience in searches.
Kass also pointed out the strangeness of taking someone for a five-minute ride in a parking lot while they repay a debt. It’s far more likely, she argued, that some type of illegal activity was happening in the vehicle.
Defense attorney Grant Carlson in closing arguments asked the jury to consider the informant’s credibility.
The informant is an admitted heroin addict who previously lied about using the drug between the dates of the buys involving Scott, Carlson said. In addition, Carlson believed the informant had motive to catch Scott selling heroin so he himself could avoid heroin charges.
Scott and Brazeika driving the informant around for a brief amount of time shouldn’t be considered out of the ordinary, Carlson argued, as it was March and likely cold outside.
Police never found any drugs or the marked buy money on Scott, Brazeika or in their vehicle when they arrested the pair March 30, Carlson added.