DELIVERY OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE

Not guilty

Criminal Charge: Delivery of Controlled Substance [Enhanced to Habitual Offender Status]
Case: State of Texas v. Jerry Crabb
Court: [Lamar County] [2013]
Result:
Not Guilty


Summary:

Mr. Crabb was charged with delivery of a controlled substance. Because he was also charged with the “habitual offender” enhancement, this third degree felony, which normally carries a sentencing range of 2-10 years in the Texas Department of Corrections, was enhanced to a first degree felony carrying a range of 25 years to life. Lamar County District Attorney Gary Young offered Mr. Crabb 12 years in the penitentiary early in the case, then raised the offer to 18 years. Mr. Crabb rejected both offers and took the case to trial.

Paris, TX police officers set up a “controlled buy” with a snitch in the snitch’s home. They arranged two cameras to capture the buy, then they told the snitch to call Mr. Crabb and bring drugs to the home. The snitch did call someone and the call was recorded; Mr. Crabb did arrive at the home some time later in the company of an unidentified man.

The three officers hid in the home while the snitch met the two men in his kitchen. The cameras captured all three men but there was no video of an actual drug sale. When Mr. Crabb and the man left, the officers let them go – no arrest was made. They claimed about 13 grams of methamphetamine were left behind, and they claimed they had thoroughly searched the home for drugs beforehand and none were on the property.

The case depended on the credibility of the snitch – a convicted drug user himself – to persuade the jury Mr. Crabb sold him the meth. At trial, Haslam argued that the snitch called the unidentified man, his dealer, rather than Mr. Crabb because he knew Mr. Crabb was not a dealer. He knew, however, his dealer and Mr. Crabb worked a legitimate day job together and that the dealer would have to get a ride to the home. Haslam argued this is why the snitch steered the alleged buy away from the cameras so strategically placed by the three experienced officers: the snitch knew Crabb was not going to be selling him the drugs.

The jury returned a NOT GUILTY verdict in 50 minutes.