When 42-year-old Edward Dean Long of Jasonville got pulled over last summer in eastern Greene County, he got a written warning for failure to use a turn signal. He didn’t have a driver’s license, so the vehicle had to be towed, and inventoried. They found drugs, and a gun. On Wednesday, a jury found him guilty of dealing in methamphetamine and, due to a past conviction, unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.
Jury selection started at 9 am. on Tuesday in Greene Circuit Court with Judge Erik Allen presiding. Twelve jurors and one alternate were seated. On the first day of the two-day trial, one juror was excused and replaced with the alternate juror. Court was adjourned late Tuesday then reconvened early Wednesday.
Greene County Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw presented the case for the state. Greene County Deputy Public Defender Ellen Martin represented the defendant.
Long was facing three counts:
- Dealing in methamphetamine in an amount between five and ten grams, with an enhancing circumstance, a Level 2 felony
- Knowingly or intentionally operating a motor vehicle without ever receiving a license, a Class C misdemeanor
- Unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, a Level 4 felony
The trial was divided into two phases.
Since the jury could not be told about the defendant’s past criminal history and convictions to determine guilt or innocence on the first two counts, both sides presented their case on just the two counts during the first phase.
On Wednesday, the jury went into their first deliberation and returned a guilty verdict on both counts.
During the second phase, the jury learned about the third count, listened to the arguments and considered the evidence. Then they returned another verdict of guilty on the third count.
Long’s criminal history includes convictions in Monroe County in 1999 for forgery, a Class C felony, and dealing in cocaine, a Class B felony – a conviction that causes him to be considered a serious violent offender that is not permitted to be in possession of a handgun.
The possession of a handgun when he was arrested, along with a quantity of methamphetamine, is considered an enhancing circumstance to count one.
Long was arrested during a traffic stop in July of 2017.
Officer Blake McCamey, who now works as a law enforcement officer in Monroe County, was a deputy with the Greene County Sheriff’s Department at that time.
Deputy McCamey was sitting in his patrol vehicle at State Road 45 and Chapel Road when Long turned off the highway onto Chapel Road, then onto Greene County Line Road, without using a turn signal.
When the deputy made the stop, Long allegedly said he didn’t have a driver’s license and had never had a driver’s license before. A records check verified that he had never received a driver’s license. Long also said the vehicle didn’t belong to him but belonged to a homeless friend in Bloomington. Long said he was just taking it out to Steven Taylor’s to get it worked on.
Other officers arrived to assist and a tow company was called to pick up Long’s vehicle. Photographs were taken and the vehicle was inventoried.
McCamey reported they found, beside the driver’s seat, an unregistered SCCY 9 mm handgun with a magazine containing six bullets.
They also found a small bag with a white crystal substance that was sent to the Indiana State Police Lab for analysis – found to be 6.66 grams of methamphetamine. They also reported finding a set of digital scales, baggies, syringes, naloxone HCI kits, arm tie bands, alcohol prep pads, cotton balls and various other items associated with methamphetamine use.
According to McCamey, Long first said nothing in the vehicle belonged to him. During a later interview, Long allegedly admitted the items were his, that he had been given money to buy methamphetamine and was on his way to deliver the meth when he was stopped.
Court records indicate that prior to the trial, the prosecution offered to negotiate a deal but Long turned it down. During a hearing on May 16, he was again advised of the offer which he rejected.
After his arrest, Long was able to make bail and has been awaiting trial while out on bond.
Following Wednesday’s verdicts, the jury was dismissed then Long was remanded into the custody of the Greene County Sheriff.
Long will be back in court late this month for a sentencing hearing before Judge Allen.