- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A suburban Pittsburgh man accused of trying to sell more than two pounds of cocaine valued at $110,000 to an undercover officer, and then leading an assistant district attorney on a high-speed chase, is seeking dismissal of the case.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (https://bit.ly/1HJ11Ey ) reports that 44-year-old Semori Wilson of McClellandtown thinks his charges should be dropped because the only witness in his case is a former Connellsville police officer currently under indictment for a separate incident.

Wilson was charged with possession, possession with intent to deliver and fleeing or attempting to elude police in October 2009. According to the criminal complaint, former Officer Ryan Reese was undercover and arranged to buy cocaine from Wilson. Wilson had left a car and the cocaine in a South Union mall parking lot. Later, he and another man returned in a different car to retrieve the cocaine. Police took the other man into custody but Wilson got away in the car.

An assistant district attorney followed Wilson in a drug task force vehicle but the chase ended near Uniontown.

Police valued the cocaine at $36,000 if it were sold as a single package. Former District Attorney Nancy Vernon said at the time it had a value of $110,000 if broken down for street sales.

Reese resigned in December after being accused of having had sexual contact with a teenager in exchange for not filing drug charges against her.

Soon after, District Attorney Jack Heneks began dropping criminal cases in which Reese was the only witness.

“Ryan Reese is the main witness in this case. It was his investigation. He is the only one who can allegedly place the defendant in the blue Lincoln Aviator where the drugs were allegedly found. He is the only officer who dealt with the confidential informant,” said Paul Gettleman, Wilson’s attorney. “Without Reese, the commonwealth has no evidence that Mr. Wilson was involved in a drug transaction.”

Wilson’s case was first heard in 2012, but ended in a mistrial. It was to be retried in April but was delayed when Gettleman filed the motion seeking to dismiss the case.

Heneks could not be reached for comment. A hearing on Wilson’s petition is scheduled for Wednesday.


Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, https://pghtrib.com

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