The Richmond Register

Local News

May 23, 2013

Court hearing reveals errors in trafficking case’s investigative file

RICHMOND — A discrepancy in police records led to an unusual hearing in a drug trafficking case Thursday in Madison Circuit Court.

The attorney for 49-year-old Carla Rae Clontz made a motion earlier this month for a bill of particulars hearing. Both the prosecution and defense attorneys had noticed problems with the file numbers in Clontz’ case, and there also were different reports of the number of pills sheriff’s deputies allege were found in her home.

A Madison grand jury indicted Clontz in December on two counts of first-degree trafficking in controlled substance (subsequent offense, Class C felony), first-degree trafficking in controlled substance (subsequent offense, Class B felony), third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, trafficking in marijuana (less than 8 ounces) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Deputies executed a search warrant Sept. 18 on Clontz’s residence at 545 Mount Vernon Road in Berea. The investigation stemmed from complaints about suspected drug trafficking at the home, the sheriff’s office reported.

Assisted by the Berea Police Department, officers found Oxycodone, methadone and Xanax tablets   that have a street value of $11,000, according to the sheriff’s department. Marijuana also was found, deputies reported.

The sheriff’s department also reported Clontz confessed to drug trafficking in an interview that day.

Defense attorney Wes Browne asked for the hearing because the number of pills reported in evidence log did not match what the search warrant return listed. A return is a list of what is seized from a searched site that must be filed with the circuit clerk’s office.

Detective Jason Parker testified at the hearing. He said that the probable cause for the search warrant was established when a confidential informant purchased five narcotic pills from Clontz, which was videotaped.

The informant, however, took one of the pills before he left the house. Browne said that because of this, investigators had “lost control” of the pills, and asked the detective if it was possible the informant exchanged the pills before he turned them over to law enforcement.

“I don’t know how that is possible,” Parker said, adding that informants are searched before and after the videotaped “controlled buys.”

One of the first problems with the case records was Clontz’ name had been attached to an investigation that did not involve her.

Parker said another detective, Jasper White, accidentally put Clontz’ name on the paperwork with some drug evidence that was sent to the Kentucky State Police lab. That case actually involved another person, who was not charged.

“(Clontz) has nothing to do with that case …,” Parker said. “Her name was put on by mistake.”

The other discrepancy involved the pill count. Two similar types of pills were reportedly found in Clontz’ home — 56 light blue pills and 69.5 blue pills. Parker said Detective White had added those two together to get 125.5, and wrote that amount down as the total amount of blue pills. Then the 56 light blue pills were added again to the total.

This mathematical error resulted in a higher count than what police said they found in the search warrant return, according to Parker.

In all, Parker said the correct count for the pills allegedly found in Clontz’ home was 78 Zanax, 63 Percocet, 88 Percocet (different dosage), 56 light blue pills, 69.5 blue pills, 20 codeine and five methadone. The total is 379.5 pills.

The difference in the pill count does not change the level of the charges against Clontz, according to Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Smith.

However, Browne made a point during the hearing to emphasize recording mistakes made during the investigation.

Clontz has been free on bond since Sept. 27. No future court date has been scheduled yet in her case.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 7-27 HeartChase 1.jpg A race to the finish line

    Sheltered by overcast sky and supported by a cool breeze, teams competed Saturday morning in the second annual HeartChase at Richmond Centre.

    July 26, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-27 Hops 1.jpg Hops & Vine Festival raises money for humane society

    Downtown Richmond’s Hops and Vine Festival started more than two years ago with a question.

    July 26, 2014 3 Photos

  • Bill Clinton will stump for Grimes in eastern Kentucky

    Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is again calling in the “Big Dog” in her quest to unseat five-term Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

    Former President Bill Clinton will join Grimes on Aug. 6 for a campaign rally in eastern Kentucky, according to a campaign official who would provide no further details.

    July 26, 2014

  • 7-26 Stockyards 2.jpg Cattle farmers enjoying ‛perfect storm’

    Demand is up, and cattle are selling for record prices.

    At the same time, corn prices are down and fuel prices have stabilized.

    That adds up to a “perfect storm” for Kentucky cattle farmers, said Gary Kelly of Paint Lick as he ate lunch Friday with his brother Jimmy at the restaurant across from the Blue Grass Stockyards.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • 7-26 Fire Practice Structure 1.jpg Fire training tower going up

    A new training tower for the Richmond Fire Department is rising on Four Mile Road.

    Construction began Thursday on the four-story, steel-framed structure.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Pavement work to restrict I-75 in Rockcastle County

    Beginning Sunday until about the end of November, Interstate 75 in Rockcastle County will be reduced to one lane in each direction between mile points 58 and 66 for pavement work.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jailed woman charged with heroin trafficking

    A Richmond woman already jailed on another charge was served with a drug trafficking warrant Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

  • County’s jobless rate improves

    Madison County’s unemployment rate for June, 6.5 percent, was a full percentage point lower than a year earlier and 0.2 points lower than in May.

    July 24, 2014

  • 7-25 Camp Invention 1.jpg Young inventors turn trash to treasure

    The first day of Camp Invention began with a room full of objects ready to be recycled, Sarah Shaffer, director of the camp said Thursday.

    July 24, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-25 William Gilbert.jpg Four arrested on meth charges at Berea motel

    Berea Police arrested four people Wednesday at the Knights Inn on Chestnut Street, including a man they said tried to conceal a meth lab on his person.

    July 24, 2014 5 Photos

AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Madison County’s three local governing bodies ban smoking in indoor public places?

Yes
No
     View Results