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Sunday, May 1, 2016

High court denies area appeal

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dusty Rhodes Jr.
INDIANAPOLIS -- On Thursday, the Court of Appeals of Indiana reached a conclusion regarding an appeal filed on behalf of former Brazil resident Dusty Rhodes Jr.

The court's ruling stated it found sufficient evidence had been presented during the trial, and dismissed the appeal.

In September 2011, Rhodes was sentenced to six years in the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC), five years of which were to be executed along with one year of probation.

In February 2011, a 12-member jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict against Rhodes, who had been charged with a class B felony of dealing methamphetamine. However, in August 2011, he was found guilty in a new jury trial.

The sentence was handed down by Clay Circuit Court Judge Joe Trout as the result from a 4-year-old drug case. The charges stemmed from allegations that Rhodes had been involved in a drug deal with an undercover police officer at a Brazil gas station Aug. 7, 2007.

According to the appeals document, in August 2007, a confidential informant agreed to arrange a "controlled buy" from Rhodes.

The document states the informant drove to Rhodes' home and picked him up along with another person with the intent to sell methamphetamine to an undercover officer.

Upon arrival to a local gas station, the undercover officer got into the back seat of the informant's vehicle to set up the deal.

According to the document, Rhodes sat in the front passenger seat, with the undercover officer sitting directly behind him.

During the trial, the undercover officer stated after looking down to get his wallet for cash, he looked up and saw a bag of methamphetamine in a baby car seat next to him.

The undercover officer then handed Rhodes the cash and picked up the bag.

Attorneys for Rhodes had filed the appeal, arguing the state of Indiana "failed to prove ... that the substance (methamphetamine)," picked up by the undercover officer was the same substance the undercover officer picked up during the sting.

According to court records, following the purchase, the undercover officer immediately returned to the Clay County Sheriff's Department for debriefing. The suspected methamphetamine was placed in a safe at the Clay County Justice Center before being given to officials with the Brazil City Police Department, who then submitted it to the state laboratory for testing. The substance tested positive for methamphetamine.

The court's conclusion was that sufficient evidence had been presented -- the substance was the same purchased by the undercover officer, which was introduced as evidence during the trial.

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