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Man found guilty on drug dealing charges

A city man was found guilty of drug-related charges Thursday, in relation to early-2018 controlled buys conducted by law enforcement.

Calvin T. Charles, 33, of 603 Locust St., was found guilty on three charges of each of the following: Possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a cell phone.

For a total of 12 charges, Charles will be sentenced on Dec. 17 at 9 a.m., said presiding Judge Nancy Butts.

A confidential informant was used in each of the three buys, which occurred between March 21 and April 3, 2018.

Soon after being arrested for possession, the informant said he provided the state police narcotics unit with names of those he’d previously bought drugs from. Of those, police identified a man named “40,” later confirmed to be an alias of Charles.

“It was set up by phone or text,” said the informant, as questioned by Joseph C. Ruby, assistant district attorney. Each controlled buy was for $100.

The informant admitted that he was using crack cocaine about three times a week and that although the district attorney promised no special treatment in his own case or monetary reward, “I hope they look on me favorably when my case comes,” he said.

Attorney Andrea Pulizzi, the defense counsel, questioned him on his lucidity, however the informant said he felt confident of his own awareness in each of the buys.

The first two deals occurred in the lobby of the apartments at 747 Fourth St. With the narcotics unit, themselves, never being able to visually confirm the identity of Charles, a recorder was placed in the coffee cup of the informant for the third buying operation.

The body camera on the informant did not capture Charles’ face, however then-trooper, Cpl. Tyler Morris, who headed the operation, said “he was consistent with Charles’ weight, height and dark complexion.”

Two other officers, who surveilled the area, testified and corroborated the details of the controlled buy operations.

Charles was later arrested when his vehicle was pulled over. The phone used in the drug deals was found in the car and confirmed to be Charles’ when Morris called the number and “Montoursville state police” illuminated on the screen.

Attorney Ruby and Pulizzi agreed in their closing arguments that the determining factor in the case was whether or not the informant could be trusted.

“I find the confidential informant was credible and reliable,” said Judge Butts, as she sentenced Charles.