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WARREN Drug sale, assault net man 4 years



Published: Thu, August 1, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Defense attorneys said their client did not know the men shooting at his vehicle were cops.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- A 32-year-old Weir Street man convicted of cocaine trafficking and assaulting a police officer has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Judge W. Wyatt McKay sentenced Scott Morrison on Wednesday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.

Morrison pleaded guilty in May to felonious assault on a peace officer, failure to comply with an order or signal of police officers and drug trafficking.

Morrison declined to comment.

Detective Jeff Orr of the Trumbull County Drug Task Force said undercover officers bought drugs from Morrison and Robert Denna, 55, of state Route 305, on March 28, 2001.

Denna's case is pending.

Police said Denna and Morrison sold the drugs to the undercover officers on Bazetta Road near the entrance to Mosquito Lake State Park campground.

What happened next

After the drug buy, the officers arrested Denna on a charge of drug trafficking, but Morrison fled in his car. Morrison tried to cut through a yard on Durst-Clagg Road, briefly getting stuck, Sheriff Thomas Altiere has said.

According to authorities, drug task force agents went to Morrison's car, identified themselves and Morrision attempted to run over them.

Orr said he was one of the officers who was nearly hit. He said he fired twice as Morrison drove off.

One of Morrison's attorneys said he told them the officers did not identify themselves.

"He did not know that the men were cops," Atty. Roger Bauer said Wednesday. "He knew a drug deal just happened and he thought he was being robbed. They fired shots at his car. They shot out his back window."

No one was hit by the shots, and Morrison fled. He crashed into a Bazetta Township police car on state Route 305, got out, tried to run and was caught by deputies.

Authorities said 11.8 ounces of cocaine were sold during the undercover buy, and $9,000 in cash was found in Morrison's vehicle.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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