Girard man on trial on four counts of cocaine trafficking

Staff report


Detective Greg Manente of the Girard Police Department says he oversaw a drug investigation that provided audio and video recordings of a confidential informant buying crack cocaine from John L. Figueroa II of Girard.

Manente testified Monday during the first day of Figueroa’s trial that a confidential informant went to Figueroa’s home on Church Hill Road three times in August 2016 and one time in October 2016 while wearing a device that recorded audio and video of the transaction.

Figueroa, 37, is on trial in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court on four low-level felony charges of cocaine trafficking. If convicted, he could get about four years in prison.

But his attorney, John Fowler, told jurors in opening arguments to “listen carefully” to the testimony because he thinks they will hear about “sloppy police work.”

Manente testified that there were technical problems with the device the confidential informant wore two of the four times. It means Girard police do not have audio recordings to play for jurors from the drug buys from Aug. 16 and Aug. 20.

Police do have the audio and video from drug buys from Aug. 8 and Oct. 3, Manente said.

Assistant Prosecutor Gina Buccino Arnaut is prosecuting the case, which resumes this afternoon before Judge Andrew Logan.

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