GALLIPOLIS — A Dayton woman was found guilty Thursday of possessing cocaine and heroin by a Gallia County jury after a trial in Gallia County Common Pleas Court and sentenced to 17 months in prison.
Ishanee Isaac, 19, was represented by Attorney Barbara Wallen. Gallia County Assistant Prosecutor Britt Wiseman represented the state from Prosecutor Jeff Adkins’ office.
Detective Justin Rice, of the Gallipolis Police Department, told of his role in drug interdiction in Gallia County and his role in following a suspect vehicle April 21, 2014. A recorded interview with Isaac that Rice took was played for the jury. Isaac admitted to having cocaine and heroin in the pulled over vehicle.
Sgt. Stoney Johnson, of Ohio State Highway Patrol, and Lt. Matt Champlin, of Gallipolis Police Department, testified that they took part in the investigation. Johnson was responsible for pulling the subject vehicle over based on a license plate violation. Johnson walked to the vehicle and noticed the smell of marijuana coming from it and reached out for Champlin to bring his canine to the scene. Champlin brought his dog, who alerted police to the presence of illegal narcotics in the vehicle.
Champlin testified that Isaac was a backseat passenger and once she exited the vehicle, she told Champlin that she had a “lot” of cocaine in her bra. She placed the drugs on the hood of the police cruiser.
Rice testified with an Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agent that the drugs were taken into evidence and tested at a BCI lab. The lab test confirmed the presence of about 8.5 grams of cocaine and .36 grams of heroin. Officers confirmed the cocaine was packaged in 18 little baggies and appeared to be for sale and one package of heroin was likewise found.
Isaac testified that most of what was presented by the prosecution was true. Isaac contended that the cocaine and heroin belonged to the males sitting in the backseat of the car with her. She testified they handed her the drugs and she hid them in her bra while the vehicle was being pulled over.
The prosecution argued during closing arguments that evidence showed Isaac possessed drugs located on her person at the time of the vehicle stop. She had seen her male companions make drug deals earlier in the day and she was not forced or coerced into possessing the drugs. The prosecution further asserted Isaac intended, according to her own testimony, to make a day round-trip about the Point Pleasant and Gallipolis area before heading back to Dayton. The prosecution further said that the manner in which the drugs had been packaged indicated Isaac engaged in trafficking.
Defense counsel argued that the real instigators of the crime were the males with Isaac and that they manipulated her. Isaac was cooperative with law enforcement upon exiting the vehicle.
The jury conferred for 90 minutes and came back with their verdict. They found Isaac guilty of drug possession and not guilty with the intent of trafficking those said drugs.
Keith Davenport and Tyrone Jewett, male passengers with Isaac, were also indicted previously by the Gallia County grand jury in connection with the case.
“The guilty verdict was great to get for the residents of Gallia County. However, what is even better for Gallia County families is that we were able to take 18 packages of cocaine and one package of heroin off the street,” said Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins.
“We understood from the outset that the trafficking counts were our most difficult to prove,” Wiseman said. “However, we felt that the manner in which the cocaine and heroin were packaged, coupled with the intended round-trip from Dayton to Gallia County, was sufficient evidence to put those charges before the jury. At the end of the day, we thank the jury for considering the evidence presented in such a thoughtful manner and we are very pleased with their two guilty verdicts.”