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Jurors to decide alleged Watertown drug sale by Brooklyn man


Jefferson County Court jurors will begin deliberations this morning in the case of a Brooklyn man accused of selling heroin and cocaine in Watertown.

Keith A. Smith, 35, is on trial for allegedly selling cocaine Sept. 7 at an Arsenal Street hotel and of selling heroin in early December at a Huntington Heights apartment.

According to trial testimony, both alleged sales were captured on audiotape by a confidential informant working for the Metro-Jeff Drug Task Force.

The December sale prompted members of the task force to execute a search warrant at the apartment, where 86 envelopes of heroin and about $2,500 in cash were recovered. A small amount of cocaine also was allegedly found in Mr. Smith’s sock during a strip search.

In her closing statement, Chief Assistant District Attorney Kristyna S. Mills told jurors that Mr. Smith came to Watertown from the New York City area “for the sole purpose of selling drugs.”

She said he was “preying on addicts” while selling the drugs on someone else’s behalf.

She said Mr. Smith had admitted to a grand jury investigating the matter Jan. 31 that the cocaine in his sock was his, although he denied ever selling drugs.

Mrs. Mills said she demonstrated through evidence presented at trial that Mr. Smith lied to the grand jury, as he was allegedly captured on a phone call recorded while he was incarcerated at the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building admitting that he sold heroin for another person.

Mrs. Mills argued that this was proof that he committed perjury, a charge he is facing in addition to two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and four counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Defense attorney Krystal A. Rupert, Lowville, contended that much of the evidence against Mr. Smith was obtained from admitted addicts. She pointed out that police had initially erred by stating 85 envelopes of heroin were found at the Huntington Heights apartment, when a state police drug lab concluded there were actually 86 envelopes submitted for testing. However, an analyst at the lab testified that the small envelopes sometimes stick to one another.

She conceded that Mr. Smith admitted he possessed cocaine but denied selling drugs, telling jurors that, “Keith Smith took responsibility for what he did wrong, but he will not take responsibility for what he has not done.”

Jurors are scheduled to return this morning for the trial’s fourth day and, after receiving instructions on the charges from Judge Kim H. Martusewicz, will begin deliberations.

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