Suspected Drug Dealer Convicted

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Anthony Deck, who police say is one of Payson's major drug dealers, was found guilty last week in a jury trial.

"He was found guilty of the crimes of possession of a dangerous drug for sale, possession of marijuana for sale, possession of drug paraphernalia and possessing a weapon during the commission of a felony," Deputy Gila County Attorney Matthew Conti said.

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Anthony Deck

Deck, 39, could face a sentence of between 10 and 28 years in prison, Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores said.

On Jan. 24, 2002, Payson police served a search warrant at Deck's trailer on South Ponderosa.

"We recovered more than 51 grams of methamphetamine and 338 grams of marijuana," Engler said. "He also had a gun on him when we made entry."

The police officer who handled Deck's arrest was Doug Johnson, who passed away in 2001 of a heart-related ailment.

"This was the culmination of a two-month investigation by Doug Johnson and John Huffman," Police Lt. Don Engler said. "They did an excellent job and so did the county attorney's office."

"While this was one of the last cases of Doug Johnson's handled by the county attorney's office, it really highlights what a huge loss Johnson's passing was," Conti said. "Johnson conducted a thorough and complete investigation that took this dangerous drug dealer off the streets of Payson."

"It was a really interesting case because we didn't have Doug Johnson to testify," Engler said. "We had to get all the evidence in using means other than the testimony of the case officer. But, we were able to get through the trial and he was found guilty."

Sentencing will be June 18 in Payson.

"It took two-and-a-half years, but we got one of the major drug dealers convicted," Engler said.

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