Elkhart man convicted of dealing cocaine near youth center
An Elkhart man faces up to 100 years behind bars after being convicted of dealing cocaine in a three-part trial.
Jonathan McPherson, 39, was convicted Wednesday, June 25, before Judge George Biddlecome in Elkhart Superior Court 3 of two counts of dealing cocaine within 1,000 feet of a youth program center, a class A felony; maintaining a common nuisance, a class D felony; and possession of a firearm by a serious violent offender, a class B felony, according to a news release from the Elkhart County Prosecutor’s Office.
McPherson was arrested on May 30, 2012 by the Elkhart Police Department Drug Unit after police learned he may have been dealing cocaine at a house on Brady Street, across the street from a church-run youth club building. Police bought cocaine from McPherson twice at the house in controlled buys and obtained a search warrant for the property.
Police found a handgun, ammunition, digital scales, cocaine residue, baggies used to package cocaine and hundreds of dollars in cash.
The three-day trial was divided into three separate parts to ensure a fair trial. In the first part of the trial, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Patrick Dowd and police presented the evidence on the drug-related charges. The second part of the trial dealt with the charge of possession of a handgun by a serious violent felon.
In the third part of the trial, prosecutors presented evidence of McPherson’s past felony convictions and asked the jury to add a habitual criminal offender enhancement to his charges.
McPherson is scheduled for sentencing on July 25 in the courtroom at the Elkhart County Jail. He could receive a sentence of up to 100 years in jail.