Lisbon man wants evidence for drug trial suppressed

LISBON — A Lisbon man, who had drugs, weapons and $58,000 seized in a raid of the home where he lived in March of 2017, is scheduled for a jury trial on Monday. However, first he and his defense attorney Joseph King made one last attempt to suppress the evidence during a motion hearing held late Friday afternoon.

William E. Martin, 39, last known address, West Washington Street, Lisbon, is charges with having weapons while under a disability, possession of cocaine, possession of heroin, possession of marijuana, trafficking in cocaine and two counts of trafficking in heroin.

King and Martin continue to question the drug evidence found at the home, which was actually visited by undercover police earlier in the day involved in controlled purchase of drugs sometimes conducted during long-term investigations into drug houses. During Friday’s motion to suppress hearing, King questioned the Columbiana County Drug Task Force director Lt. Brian McLaughlin about why the DTF and Lisbon police were actually at the house on March 28, 2017, challenging that it was more about something going wrong during the controlled drug buy instead of arresting Martin on a warrant.

McLaughlin testified the undercover officers did not do anything wrong during the buy, and the DTF was already talking about getting a search warrant when it was discovered Martin had an arrest warrant on another matter. Lisbon police and members of the DTF announced police were at the door and heard running away from the door, then forced their way inside, according to McLaughlin. They took Martin into custody, and he was transported to the jail by Lisbon police. McLaughlin and other agents waited with two women first inside the house and then on a back porch while they waited for the search warrant.

McLaughlin testified there was at least marijuana visible in the living room while they waited there for the warrant and the reason they all went outside was due to McKenzie Strub, one of the woman, requested she wanted them all out of her home. The defense motion claims police conducted an illegal continuous search by forcing their way into the home and being inside the home while awaiting the search warrant.

Once they had the search warrant, it was reported authorities found .4 pounds of heroin, .6 pounds of cocaine, .1 pounds of crack cocaine and 3.7 pounds of marijuana, along with the $58,000 and seven weapons.

After hearing McLaughlin’s testimony on Friday, Judge Scott Washam said he would rule on the motion to suppress the evidence found during the search prior to the jury trial scheduled to start Monday morning.