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Final arguments made in drug trial

Lawyers completed their final arguments Thursday in the federal drug trial of Sandra Jacobi, a Derby resident who is accused of assisting in the operations of a major metham-phetamine ring.

The smuggling and drug-conspiracy case against Jacobi, 51, was completed in the court of U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.

Jacobi is accused of helping her husband, Hugh Stevens, 62, a well-known local harness racer, arrange large shipments of ephedrine, a drug that is used in the manufacture of the highly addictive methamphetamine.

Her attorney, Cheryl Meyers Buth, told jurors that if there were any such shipments, Jacobi was unaware of them.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas S. Duszkiewicz and Michael DiGiacomo disagreed, saying the jury heard plenty of evidence that Jacobi recruited people to smuggle drugs and assisted her husband in other illegal ways.

The trial began Sept. 12 with both Jacobi and Stevens as defendants, but Skretny declared a mistrial in Stevens' case last week, after Stevens' attorney, Angelo Musitano, was sidelined with a heart attack.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents charge that Stevens smuggled drugs for a major methamphetamine ring that was dismantled in 2004 after a series of arrests in Canada, Western New York and California.

Stevens, who will be tried at a later date, also denies the allegations. Jacobi, who faces four felony charges, did not testify during the trial.

Prosecution witnesses claimed that Stevens received tens of thousands of dollars to smuggle drugs, and that he hired people in the local harness-racing community to help him, sometimes hiding the drugs in horse trailers.


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