Four drug-related indictments handed out

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Four indictments for alleged drug offenses were handed down by the Marshall County Grand Jury last week. Two of them relate to individuals who were pictured on the front page of The Tribune last March when a 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force roundup resulted in 25 arrests in Marshall County.

Roy Rowe Jr., 51, of New Columbia Hwy, Lewisburg, is accused of selling and delivering a variety of prescription drugs to a confidential informant. According to the indictments, on Nov. 29, 2007, Rowe provided the buyer with the Schedule IV drugs Xanax and Valium, and the Schedule III drug Lortab; on Dec. 6, it was more Xanax; on Dec. 18, Mepergan, a Schedule II drug, was added to the list; on Jan. 7, the confidential informant got Lortabs; and on Jan. 22 they finished off with more Mepergan.

According to his booking record, Rowe is disabled. His affidavit of indigency states that he has disability income of $752 per month and owns no property. Rowe was unable to post the bond of $67,500, and has been assigned a public defender

Latoya Denise Bellafant, 27, of Martin Ave., Lewisburg, is alleged to have sold and delivered crack cocaine to a confidential informant working for the Drug Task Force on Nov. 21 and 28, 2007. On March 5, 2008, Bellafant is accused of conspiring with Marcus Canty to distribute a Schedule II drug, and of selling 0.6 grams of crack cocaine to a confidential informant. Bellafant also completed an affidavit of indigency that stated she had no job, no property, no income, and no way to meet her bond of $67,000. She also has a public defender assigned to her case.

After she appeared in General Sessions Court in April, Judge Steve Bowden ordered that Bellafant undergo a mental evaluation. This was carried out by Jon Garrison, a certified forensic examiner and licensed clinical psychologist. His letter to the judge states, "I have concluded that the defendant...understands the legal process...understands the charges pending against her and the consequences that can follow."

Garrison concludes that Bellafant was "not experiencing a severe mental disease or defect that caused her to be unable to appreciate the nature or wrongfulness of her acts."

Among the 25 arrested in March was Canty, whose picture appears on an inside page.

Canty, 38, of Columbia, is alleged to have conspired with Bellafant, but his grand jury indictment is for an incident that occurred this October.

The affidavit of complaint states that on Oct. 8, agents of the 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force, along with agents of the Maury County Sheriff's Office, stopped a white Cadillac occupied by Marcus Canty, 38, of Columbia; Holly Perryman, 25, of Lewisburg; another female; and two small children.

"During a probable cause search of the vehicle, agents found about 7.0 grams of powder cocaine and a Glock 23 pistol with a loaded clip," the affidavit states. It states that there was "probable cause to believe the offense of Possession of Schedule II for Resale has been committed."

Perryman is represented by J. Daniel Freemon of the Freemon Law Firm, Lawrenceburg, and he has already moved to suppress the evidence obtained as a result of the search of the vehicle, claiming that there was "no probable cause to stop the vehicle" and "no grounds to conduct a warrant-less non-consenting search of the vehicle."

Perryman and Canty are indicted for possession with intent to sell and deliver a Schedule II drug, and with possession of a firearm in commission of a felony.

Indictment does not mean the defendant is guilty. That's determined by a jury, a judge, or the defendant's guilty plea.