Spoonire Convicted Of Selling Drugs
Alleged drug dealer Carolyn Marie Spoonire emphatically told a courtroom of onlookers she never sold crack cocaine to a confidential informant on two days during the summer of 2009. However, under questioning by the commonwealth during the two-day jury trial last week, the McConnellsburg woman wasn’t quite as certain if she had ever dealt drugs to anyone else.
“Not that I know of,” Spoonire told county District Attorney Travis Kendall. “I don’t think I’ve sold drugs.”
“What, did it slip your mind?” asked Kendall in return.
Spoonire went on to elaborate that she was unaware how $145 in marked state police bills and 6.5 grams of crack cocaine were found during a search of her former residence at 655-A East Maple Street, McConnellsburg, the evening of July 1, 2009. Other items found in the search were multiple Pennsylvania Access cards not issued in Spoonire’s name, a telescope, camera, numerous engagement and wedding bands, and power tools.
She further stated a digital scale reportedly found by investigators in her dining room junk drawer was utilized to weigh out food in grams and ounces as part of her special cardiac diet.
On hand for the search were Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Donald Beynon of Chambersburg and a member of the vice unit out of Hollidaysburg, as well as several troopers from the McConnellsburg substation. Beynon and the undercover officer were also re- sponsible for organizing two “controlled buys” from Spoonire using a female confidential informant.
The informant testified she had lived in the Mc- Connellsburg area on two separate occasions and had provided the troopers with the names of two women in Fulton County she could purchase drugs from – Spoonire and Spoonire’s neighbor in the East Maple Street duplex.
The woman said she bought crack cocaine from Spoonire on two occasions strictly for herself and two additional times (June 29 and July 1) as controlled buys for the state police.
Given the informant’s varied answers, questions were raised by court-appointed public defender Dwight Harvey as to what cellphone was utilized in calling Spoonire prior to a controlled buy; what type and size box was used by Spoonire to store the cocaine; and when she was given marked bills by the state police to make the controlled buys.
As part of the commonwealth’s rebuttal, a Fort Loudon woman took the stand to inform the court she met Spoonire, 52, through a mutual friend at the end of 2008.
“We started out as friends. I was new to the area, and we were about the same age,” said the woman, who soon learned that Spoonire was dealing crack cocaine.
The woman said she made frequent buys from Spoonire, and their relationship quickly transitioned from “friend to dealer.” The purchases increased to several times weekly with the woman using cash, her husband’s pain medication, a camera, telescope and engagement ring to fund her addiction. Coincidentally, the ring, telescope and camera were recovered at Spoonire’s home during the search and have since been returned to the woman.
On behalf of the defense, Harvey Kneas Jr. spoke to the court about Spoonire becoming his tenant in the fall of 2006. Kneas stated he received a letter from Spoonire several months prior to her arrest and lease ending in July 2009. The letter gave the landlord permission to enter Spoonire’s side of the duplex unannounced and was penned after allegations were made to Services for Children about domestic violence as well as kids, guns and drugs being in the residence.
Kneas also made mention of Spoonire’s character and noted she was referred to him as a “potentially good tenant” by local HUD officials and former Commissioner Ellis Yingling. He concluded he “never doubted” her reputation.
Others testifying for the defense during the jury trial on May 12 and 13 were Services for Children caseworkers Karri Downes and Stephanie Branche and probation officer Drew Washabaugh. Washabaugh served as a supervising officer for Roger Barnett, Spoonire’s live-in boyfriend, who was also arrested last summer on drug-related allegations following the search of the East Maple Street home. Washabaugh noted Barnett’s case was transferred to neighboring Franklin County last July, and his last home visit with Barnett occurred on January 11, 2008.
Following a 75-minute deliberation, the jury reconvened to find Spoonire guilty on all eight counts, including delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and criminal conspiracy. The Fulton County Probation Department will complete a presentence investigation prior to sentencing set for June 22.