by Tressa Bryant
Deputy District Attorney Robin Johnson opened Bryan Silva’s case by stating that Mr. Silva was selling methamphetamine. Mrs. Johnson added that Deputy Quy Ha, from the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department, would be testifying about arriving on the scene of known suspects dealing with illegal substances, when Mr. Silva subsequently appeared in the camp.
Deputy Ha and fellow officers, said Ms. Johnson, approached the campsite, and found the defendant to be high. They searched Mr. Silva and found a knife, syringe, gram scale and several bags of meth. Ms. Johnson told the jury that Mr. Silva provides and sells meth in order to get money and food. Mr. Silva admitted that he “slammed” meth, which refers to injecting meth into the body through a syringe.
Deputy Public Defender Peter Borruso opened by stating that what Deputy Ha would be saying was his own opinion and, although that may be the truth for him, this did not mean it was fact. Mr. Silva’s only plan for the meth was to use it for himself and, in fact, he had already started to use the meth he had on him at six o’clock in the morning. The police had not been called to the camp for drug problems, but rather on complaints about the homeless in the area.
When Mr. Silva was questioned, said Mr. Borruso, he was never asked once if he planned to sell the meth. Mr. Silva had about 3.5 grams of meth on him and testimonies later will show that, for someone who uses drugs, 3.5 grams is not a lot of drugs for one day. Defense closed their opening by stating that someone who was interested in buying drugs would carry around a scale, while a dealer would not be interested in a scale because he does not care whether he takes advantage of the buyers.
Deputy Ha was the first witness to take the stand and he recalled that, on June 30, he and his training officer were on their way to a typical checkup on a known homeless campsite. The campsite was known to officers due to the fact it was on private property. When deputies arrived, there were only three people on the scene. As officers finished questioning the people, Mr. Silva showed up.
Deputy Ha noticed that Mr. Silva appeared to be high. Deputy Ha and the training officer searched Mr. Silva and found a knife, two box cutters, a black pouch which contained the meth, and a syringe. Deputy Ha recalled that Mr. Silva stated he was providing people with meth for food and survival, although the conversation was never recorded due to a mix-up with recording devices. According to the deputy, Mr. Silva also told them that he was slamming meth, and he agreed to take have a blood sample taken for testing. Deputy Ha had not checked the results from the drug test.