Jury starts deliberating heroin sale case

PAUL SCOTT, ACCUSED of selling heroin in the Iron Mountain-Kingsford area, testifies Tuesday in his own defense in Dickinson County court. (Nikki Younk/Daily News photo)

IRON MOUNTAIN — Jurors in the trial of a Crystal Falls man accused of selling heroin in the Iron Mountain-Kingsford area have conflicting stories to consider — did Paul Dwayne Scott sell the drug to a police informant or did the informant frame him by turning over to police heroin he had hidden in his underwear?

The informant testified Tuesday he met Scott, 36, in late 2016 while in treatment for opiate addiction. After the informant overdosed on heroin in January and thought he might get in trouble with the police, he approached the KIND Drug Team to work with them.

The informant suggested Scott as a target and set up two heroin “buys:” March 9 outside the Dickinson County Memorial Hospital in Iron Mountain and March 26 outside ManorCare Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Kingsford.

Officers testified they searched the informant, his clothing and other belongings before each buy but didn’t do a strip search. None of the officers reported finding drugs on the informant, and all said they were confident in their searches.

They then gave him marked “buy money” and a body microphone.

In each instance, officers brought the informant to the designated location and watched the entire time as Scott and his co-defendant, Heather Brazeika, picked him up in their vehicle and drove around for about five minutes before dropping him off in the same place.

The informant claimed Scott sold him two “bindles” of heroin for $150 on each occasion. He then gave those drugs to police.

Testifying in his own defense, Scott denied any such exchange. He said he and Brazeika only picked up the informant on the two dates because the informant wanted to repay money he owed Scott.

Brazeika corroborated Scott’s story, saying the two maybe shook hands while in the vehicle but never once mentioned a drug deal.

Scott testified he has never struggled with heroin addiction but has problems with marijuana.

Furthermore, an acquaintance of the informant testified the informant told him in June he “set up” Scott by “stashing” heroin in his underwear to give to police. Although the acquaintance is now Scott’s cellmate at the Dickinson County Jail, he said he wasn’t back in June.

Defense attorney Grant Carlson also called the informant’s credibility into question when the informant admitted to lying in a previous court hearing about using heroin between the two controlled buys in March.

Scott and Brazeika were arrested March 30, but officers never found any drugs or the marked buy money on them or in their vehicle, according to testimony.

They did, however, find three cell phones, a digital scale, two razor blades, a phone charger and $34 in cash.

Testimony in the case wrapped up Tuesday after Dickinson County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Kristin Kass presented eight total witnesses and Carlson called two.

The trial is scheduled to continue this morning with closing arguments, jury instructions and jury deliberation. Check at www.ironmountaindailynews.com for updates on the verdict.