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Coaldale man's appeal of drug conviction rejected by state court

Published December 08. 2010 05:00PM

A man serving a state prison sentence after being convicted in Schuylkill County Court by a jury who found him guilty of criminal conspiracy to possess a controlled substance and delivery of drugs, lost his appeal of the conviction. The state Superior Court affirmed the conviction in a recent ruling.

Brandon Ross Snyder, 27, of 107 Second St., Coaldale, was found guilty in December 2009 and sentenced by Judge Charles M. Miller in January to serve 21 to 42 months in a state correctional institution.

Crucial testimony was provided by Det. Leo A. Securda, of the Schuylkill County District Attorney's Drug Task Force, who testified he was contacted by a confidential informant (CI) who informed him she could make a buy of heroin from an individual named Tanya Viars. The informant was supplied with prerecorded buy money and a buy was later made in a parking lot at a shopping mall.

Snyder was arrested on Aug. 21, 2009, on the charges and at the trial the CI testified when she entered the car to purchase the heroin, the defendant was one of three people in the vehicle who handed the bags of heroin to Viars, who in turn handed them to her in exchange for the money.

Last March Snyder filed an appeal claiming there wasn't sufficient evidence for the jury to find him guilty because the CI's testimony about his involvement in the drug transaction was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he conspired to possess and deliver heroin.

The state court ruled that based on the testimony there is sufficient evidence to support his conviction and there is no reason to grant him a new trial.

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