Jury selection in the trial of Olney man Tracey Dirk Wade, who pled not guilty to a charge of manufacturing of methamphetamine in an amount of four grams or more but less than 200 grams, began Monday, Feb. 24.
Following the jury selection, opening arguments from both the prosecution and defense attorneys were completed. Witness testimony began Tuesday, Feb. 25, and District Attorney Dee Peavy called on two DPS officers to testify on the second day of the trial. The officers were two of the key participants in an investigation that law enforcement agents began in December, 2009.
Peavy first took testimony from DPS Trooper Garrett Ritter, and then from DPS Certified Peace Officer James Blake. During testimony of both officers, Peavy laid out a time-line of the investigation of a duplex on W. Payne Street in Olney that Officer Ritter said began in mid-December of 2009.
Ritter testified that a combination of him seeing multiple cars at the residence several times, as well as more than once smelling what he described as a strong odor of anhydrous ammonia coming from the residence, a chemical often used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, prompted him to become suspicious.
Ritter testified that he connected Wade to the residence on the corner of W. Payne and Ave. F Streets through a water bill from the utilities office in Olney, a tactic that Officer Blake would later testify to using to connect Wade to the residence.
During Officer Blake's testimony, Peavy introduced several items into evidence, many of which were gathered from a garbage receptacle on the premises of the residence on W. Payne Street. Evidence recovered from the garbage introduced by Peavy included a plastic bag containing 88 empty blister packs of pseudoephedrine, receipts from CVS and Walmart stores in Wichita Falls documenting the purchase of pseudoephedrine, and several empty lithium battery packages.
Officer Blake testified that by themselves, pseudoephedrine packages and lithium battery packages do not immediately point to evidence of meth manufacture, but when gathered together in quantities found at the residence on W. Payne Street, Blake said that was “a clue.”
The case is expected to go to the jury by the end of the week. The Graham Leader will follow the trial as it unfolds.