By: Jack Lattajlatta@civitasmedia.com
April 16, 2013
PRESTONSBURG — The case against an alleged heroin dealer was sent to a grand jury Tuesday, following a preliminary hearing in Floyd County District Court.
The charges against James Edward DeRossett, 50, of Allen, will be sent to a grand jury following testimony Tuesday given by Kentucky State Police Sgt. Ronald Peppi.
During the hearing, Peppi testified that on April 1, KSP had received an anonymous tip that DeRossett would be bringing drugs in from Columbus, Ohio. Peppi told the court that while awaiting DeRossett’s return near Paul Hunt Golf Course, in Allen, he was approached by another unnamed individual, who stated that if he waited long enough, he would see DeRossett bringing in drugs.
DeRossett was stopped near the Kwik Mart in Allen Tuesday, April 2, on Route 1428, for failing to signal and improper registration. Sgt. Peppi told the court that when he got to the car, he asked DeRossett, “So, how was your trip to Columbus?” at which time, Peppi noted, DeRossett became visibly nervous.
A passenger in the vehicle, identified in court as Phillip Morgan Joseph, has not been charged. Joseph was allegedly found in possession of digital scales at the time of the arrest.
When asked by DeRossett’s defense why Joseph had not been charged, Peppi alluded to forthcoming charges. “That’s a whole other thing,” Peppi said.
Peppi testified that, in recorded statements, both men later admitted to traveling to Columbus to buy heroin, and that their stories only differed on who attempted to discard the drugs after being stopped by police.
According to Peppi, the two were found with 62 grams of heroin, which DeRossett allegedly confessed to planning to sell for $35 per tenth of a gram, giving the drugs a street value of just under $22,000. DeRossett also allegedly had $340 in cash on his person at the time of his arrest.
Following the testimony, District Judge Jimmy R. Marcum found probable cause to remand the case to a grand jury for further consideration. DeRossett was charged with improper registration plate, failure to or improper signal, failure to produce insurance card, first-degree possession of controlled substance (heroin), second-degree possession of a controlled substance (drug unspecified).
DeRossett’s bond, set at $25,000 cash, will remain the same.