By Karen Wilkinson
Triplicate staff writer
A Crescent City man was convicted on five felony drug and weapons charges by a jury Wednesday and is facing up to 14 years in prison.
Edwin Stull, 35, was arrested in early September after Crescent City police officers seized 92 grams of methamphetamine and a loaded .25-caliber pistol from his vehicle. The drugs had a street value between $7,500 and $8,000, authorities said.
Police also found $2,600 in cash, a digital scale, 50 baggies, and a loaded syringe, according to police reports.
Stull was arrested again a week later, after posting bail, on similar charges. He was found in his vehicle with about 1.5 grams of meth and a collapsible baton, an illegal weapon, authorities said.
The three-day trial ended Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. and found Stull guilty on all charges possession of a controlled substance for sale, transportation of a controlled substance, possession of a firearm by a felon, being a felon and carrying a loaded weapon in a vehicle and possession of a firearm and controlled substances. All are felonies.
Stull also was found guilty of two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence, as his blood alcohol content was .12, well above the .08 legal limit.
He also was convicted of the special allegations that stemmed from the first arrest a 1995 conviction for transporting a controlled substance and possessing a deadly weapon.
He also was found guilty of the special allegations that resulted from the second arrest simple possession of meth, possession of a dangerous or deadly weapon and being out on bail while committing a crime.
Deputy District Attorney Ben McLaughlin, who tried the case, said he's elated with the verdict and the cooperation between local law enforcement and the Elk Valley Casino. Their testimony helped nail the conviction, he said.
"I think the verdict speaks for itself," McLaughlin said. "Inasmuch as the jury represents the community, when you get caught with drugs for sale, they'll come down on you."
What really swung the case, McLaughlin said, was casino video surveillance that showed Stull selling meth on casino property.
"Each (agency) was essential in their own right to the case," he said.
District Attorney Mike Riese said he's pleased with McLaughlin's efforts.
"It's welcomed to get this drug dealer off the street," Riese said.
Stull's attorney, public defender Bill Cater, said he did not want to comment on the case.
Stull is scheduled for another jury trial Monday for allegedly selling a stolen firearm to an Elk Valley Casino employee on casino property.
Stull is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 21 and faces anywhere from seven to 14 years prison time.
The case is a fine example of what can happen when local law enforcement agencies work in collaboration, McLaughlin said.
"Any time you can take an Edwin Stull off the streets, it's a good thing," he said.