BLOOMINGTON — A Bloomington man serving as his own lawyer at his trial on drug charges questioned several witnesses Tuesday, including a confidential police source he once considered a friend.
Andrew Pinkston claimed in his opening statement to jurors that the Bloomington police vice unit acted improperly when they arranged for a confidential informant to offer to purchase drugs from the 47-year-old defendant.
"I wouldn't wish this on an animal. I was entrapped by the Bloomington Police Department," Pinkston told jurors.
Assistant State's Attorney Jeff Horve countered in his opening remarks that detectives conducted a legal undercover drug sale and collected sufficient evidence to support charges that Pinkston sold crack cocaine to the confidential source.
In almost two hours on the witness stand Tuesday, the police informant acknowledged that he agreed to help police hours after he was stopped by police on unrelated potential drug charges.
In response to lengthy cross examination by Pinkston, the police source also admitted that he knew the defendant as a drug source.
"I was buying drugs from you and you were smoking your drugs ... I've given you a lot of money for a lot of drugs," the witness told Pinkston.
The informant characterized Pinkston as an acquaintance rather than a friend.
The witness, who is not identified by The Pantagraph because he is a confidential police source, said he has not used drugs since the June 8 incident. He testified that his drug habit led to "legal problems, financial problems and being homeless."
Jurors watched a 20-minute video recorded by the police source on a cell phone that depicted Pinkston at the informant's home and the crack cocaine he allegedly purchased for $50 from the defendant.
Pinkston sorted through piles of documents related to the drug charges as he sat alone at the defense table following his previous decision to act as his own lawyer. If convicted, Pinkston faces up to 15 years in prison.
The trial is expected to conclude Wednesday after testimony from police vice officers.