Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Trial under way for fired deputy


Seven drug counts allege meth lab tie

By David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

LEBANON - A detective told a Warren County jury Monday that he found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in a former Warren County sheriff's deputy's pickup truck during a drug investigation this year.

Detective Dennis Luken, an investigator with the Warren-Clinton Drug and Strategic Operations Task Force, testified that he found the items while searching Deputy Michael Moore's truck.

Moore faced his first day on trial on seven drug-related charges in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

He was indicted in January on the charges, including possession of the illegal stimulant methamphetamine.

Moore was fired by the sheriff's office in March. Luken said authorities began investigating Moore days after Frederick Purcell Jr. of Verona was arrested Dec. 31 driving what police said was a mobile methamphetamine lab on Interstate 71.

Warren County Assistant Prosecutor Andy Sievers told jurors that Moore and Purcell made methamphetamine at Moore's Deerfield Township apartment complex.

"This is a case of dishonesty," Sievers said. "This is a case of drug abuse. This is a case of the inability to control oneself."

But Moore's lawyer, Bill Fowler, said the deputy was simply trying to help Purcell, a childhood acquaintance, in the months before Purcell was stopped and arrested.

The case against Moore is expected to go to the jury Wednesday.

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E-mail daveck@fuse.net




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