New Kensington man to stand trial in cocaine case
A New Kensington man, described by authorities as being a high-level cocaine dealer, is headed for criminal court after an Armstrong County district judge found the Commonwealth presented sufficient evidence against him during a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.
All charges stemming from a December arrest in East Franklin against Robert Dale “Whitey” Damore, 47, will be held for court, said District Judge James Owen.
Damore has been charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and criminal use of a communication facility.
Detective Frank Pitzer, area coordinator for Armstrong County Narcotics Enforcement Team (ArmNET), testified during the hearing that Damore allegedly sold 14.8 grams of powdered cocaine to a confidential informant for $1,600 at 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 30 in a parking lot at the Franklin Village Mall.
Pitzer said the informant had made a call from the Armstrong County Courthouse to Damore at 11:54 a.m. During the phone call, Damore allegedly told the informant to meet him at the designated location in half an hour.
Public Defender Chuck Pascal argued that because the call had not been recorded and since Pitzer only heard one side of the call and that the word cocaine was not used by the informant during the phone conversation, the charge of criminal use of a communication facility should be dismissed.
Assistant District Attorney Chase McClister said it could be concluded that the informant had spoken with Damore by phone since the defendant showed up at that designated time and place.
According to Pitzer's testimony, the informant had been searched by narcotics agents before meeting Damore, was found to be free of any contraband and had $1,600 in official funds when he got into Damore's van Dec. 30. He said there was no other person in the van with Damore when the informant got in.
“All officers were watching Damore's vehicle,” said Pitzer, adding that there were 12 ArmNET agents at the scene.
At the moment when the informant exited the van and while Damore was still in the driver's seat, agents closed in, said Pitzer.
Pitzer said the informant had a clear plastic bag with the suspected cocaine in his possession, which he handed over to the agents. Damore had the $1,600 in his possession, which were the same recorded bills agents had provided to the informant, said Pitzer.
McClister said that from the testimony it could be concluded a drug delivery had occurred.
Owen did not reduce Damore's $100,000 bail as requested by Pascal.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Program helping Armstrong jail inmates earn GED diplomas
- East Franklin artist featured at Crooked Creek’s monthly speaker program
- Church to help longtime Dayton businessman get bikes out of the brush
- Conflicting stories leave police seeking answers in Ford City shooting
- 6 high school bands marching in West Shamokin at annual show
- Fall colors, Allegheny River the stars of Armstrong Tourist Bureau cruise
- Proposals submitted for use of Armstrong’s federal grant money
- Apple butter festival keeps tradition alive
- Narcotic delivery to Armstrong jail foiled; two charged
- Couple ends long, fruitful work on Ford City library board
- Tractor show a hit in Dayton