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COVID-19: Man Found Guilty In First Westchester Jury Trial Since Start Of Pandemic

A Yonkers man was found guilty by trial to drug charges.
A Yonkers man was found guilty by trial to drug charges.

A Westchester man was found guilty on drug possession charges in the first jury trial held in the county since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

The trial of Yonkers resident Gregory Smith, which began on Friday, Oct. 16, came to a conclusion on Tuesday, Oct. 20, with him being found guilty on multiple charges.

Specifically, Smith was found guilty of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, seventh-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and two counts of criminally using drug paraphernalia.

Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. said that on Oct. 9, 2018, police investigators in Yonkers executed a search warrant of Smith’s Locust Hill apartment.

During the search, police recovered a black plastic bag that contained four clear twists of cocaine from a nightstand in the defendant’s bedroom. In total, there was more than two ounces of cocaine, Scarpino said.

Among the other items seized were drug paraphernalia that included a digital scale and small sandwich bags that were used to package cocaine for distribution.

At the trial, Scarpino noted that special COVID-19 precautions were put in place to avoid spreading the virus using the jury box and gallery seating.

The prosecution and defense tables were turned sideways so the lawyers would not have their backs to any of the jurors, and no visitors were allowed in the courtroom during the trial.

Those who wished to follow the trial were seated in another room where it could be viewed via live video stream on a large monitor. All attendees were required to wear masks inside the courtroom, as well as in the Courthouse. There were no disruptions for health reasons during the trial.

Smith, 49, faces up to nine years in state prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 19, 2021.

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