Man accused of heroin trafficking, insurance fraud
November 30, 2011
By ADAM FERRISE – reporter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
WARREN – A narcotics detective, whose slip-up during testimony led to the mistrial in a recent heroin trafficking and insurance fraud trial, eluded a repeat Tuesday during the retrial.
Trumbull and Ashtabula Law Enforcement Task Force Detective Rick Tackett said during several hours of testimony Tuesday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge Peter Kontos’ courtroom that he learned of Drew Reid’s alleged drug involvement through a confidential informant. Tackett, a 29-year police veteran, did not elaborate much further, as he did two weeks ago when he told a jury that Reid “has a history as a known drug dealer,” which caused Kontos to declare the case a mistrial for prejudicing the jury.
Reid, 59, 1633 Jefferson St. S.W., is facing two counts of fifth-degree felony trafficking in heroin and one count of fourth-degree felony insurance fraud stemming from an investigation and raid on Reid’s home in November 2009.
Tackett misspoke at the first trial while describing the process of using a confidential informant to make controlled drug buys under his supervision.
On Tuesday, Tackett told the six-man, six-woman jury that the informant told members of the Champion Police Department that they learned information about Reid. Tackett said he worked with the informant, who Tackett said did not have a criminal record, on five cases over three years. Tackett said he never paid the informant until the Reid case, where he paid the informant $50 to go to Reid’s house and buy five bindles of heroin with money supplied by TAG.
Tackett said they wired the informant with a recording device and a transmitter so he and other officers could listen to the drug buy.
He said officers found two shotguns, heroin and drug paraphernalia throughout the house.
On cross-examination by Reid’s attorney Rob Kokor, Tackett said the informant told him he saw people shooting heroin inside Reid’s home but pointed out the informant didn’t say he saw drugs being sold.
Tackett also said during Kokor’s questioning that when the informant bought the heroin, the drugs were purchased from a different person, not Reid, and that Reid’s name never came up on the recording of the drug buy.
Reid, who remains free on $25,000 bond, also is accused of filing a fraudulent insurance claim to State Farm after he claimed his home was burglarized while he was in jail waiting to post bond.
Assistant county prosecutor Michael Burnett said Reid claimed $71,000 in losses, including several TVs, laptop computers, mink furs, diamonds and other electronics and jewelry.
A video Tackett made immediately after the S.W.A.T. team broke down Reid’s door at the beginning of the Nov. 25, 2009, raid shown in court Tuesday showed the home had two old-style televisions and one desktop computer.
The trial continues today.