A drug investigator and confidential informant testified Tuesday a Norwalk man sold six Percocet pills for $60 last year.
John A. Cory, 46, of 39 W. Seminary St., Apt. B, is charged with one count of trafficking in oxycodone in connection with a June 19, 2012 controlled drug buy at his apartment. The defendant remains out on bond.
The informant testified he was in the Huron County Jail when he requested to speak to a detective about buying prescription pills from Cory since he had done so earlier. He was jailed for a 60- to 90-day sentence for failing to pay his fines for an unspecified Norwalk Municipal Court conviction at the time.
"He said to give him some time and he could see what he could do," the informant said.
Huron County Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Josh Querin said he didn't have any prior experience with the man, who also had been an informant for the Norwalk Police Department for drug sales "that led to convictions."
On the day of the suspected buy, Querin and another detective set the informant up with a wire, searched him for contraband at 3:57 p.m. and after not finding anything, they gave him three $20 bills. The detectives dropped him off seven minutes after the search and the informant walked to Cory's apartment. Querin said the informant called him at 4:14 p.m. to say "the deal was complete" and estimated the man was inside the apartment about four minutes.
The detectives conducted surveillance from a parking lot almost directly across from Cory's apartment. The informant had to walk behind the two-story house to reach the suspect's basement apartment.
"We were able to take some pictures of him in front of the house," Querin said, referring to the informant.
"I pushed the doorbell and he (Cory) told me to come in," the informant said in the recording played for the jury.
"I asked him if he had the pills I wanted. ... He said, 'Yeah,'" he said from the stand Tuesday. "I gave him the money once he gave me the pills."
The detectives debriefed the informant after the suspected transaction. Querin, on the recording, asked him if "it was a hand-to-hand transaction with John Cory."
"Yes," said the informant, who also told the detectives there were no juveniles in the apartment, but there were three males there.
Cory was arrested in mid-April as part of a multi-county sweep coordinated by the sheriff's office. Sixteen of 19 drug defendants were arrested. Querin said he investigated most of those cases and Cory wasn't arrested sooner because the sheriff's office was preparing the case for a grand jury indictment.
Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Daivia Kasper, in her opening statement, said the case is simple and straightforward.
"The confidential informant reached out to the officer. He knew John Cory was selling pills," she said.
"The confidential informant was inside just a few minutes. He gave John Cory the money and John Cory gave him the pills," Kasper told the jurors.
To say the informant reached out to Querin "is a complimentary way to put it," Huron County Public Defender David Longo said, since the man was paid $75 to make the suspected buy. Querin and the man testified that payment amount was accurate.
"He was paid money to make buys. ... He was informant No. 13 that year," Longo told the jurors.
"They did not want to do a buy-bust probably because they wanted to get more buys off this snitch. ... He might have been a very active informant," the public defender said.
The trial continues today. It's unknown whether Cory plans to testify.