OGDEN -- A car dealer charged with brokering a deal for meth to cover a car payment took the stand at his trial Monday to say everybody is lying.
Nearly three years in the making, the trial resumes this morning in 2nd District Court on the single count of second-degree felony possession with intent against Nabil Ahlat, 40.
Ahlat was arrested in a Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force sting July 15, 2008, in the office of his Riverdale dealership.
Agents kicked in the door minutes after an informant had given Ahlat a quarter-pound of meth valued at $5,000 to $6,000, according to testimony.
The meth was to go toward the $9,527 the informant's husband owed on a used Lexus he bought at Ahlat's dealership, Amara Auto Plaza, according to the allegations.
Defense attorneys typically advise their clients against testifying because it opens them up to cross-examination.
Ahlat's lawyer, Randy Richards, started Ahlat on the stand Monday afternoon by first having Ahlat testify that Richards had advised him against testifying.
Ahlat then proceeded to say that the informant had offered him the meth, even showed him the drug in a large baggie, but he declined, telling her, "I just want cash."
"I'll wrap this up fairly quickly," Deputy Weber County Gary Heward said as he launched his rapid-fire cross-examination.
Heward ran each piece of testimony from earlier in the day past Ahlat, ending each with the expression "... when he says that, he is lying?" And Ahlat answered each time with a calm "yes" or "correct."
All lies, Ahlat said of the strike force claims that he first denied knowing anything about the meth found in the wastebasket under his desk, then admitted he saw it, but it was planted.
And both a strike force and a DEA agent were lying, Ahlat said, when they testified he confessed and admitted to being a meth user.
Two informants were also lying, he said, about lengthy discussions they had with him about the meth as a car-payment deal a few days before the strike force raid.
He also denied ever buying drugs from the informants, being read his Miranda rights, or ever admitting to agents the use of cocaine or marijuana, as well as meth.
The case has been delayed by the tragic hunting death of Gary Gale, Ahlat's original defense attorney, and a long debate over the strike force's handling of the case when the videotape system in Ahlat's office was seized by the agents only to be accidentally erased.
The defense at one point last year moved for dismissal, asking Judge Michael DiReda to throw out the case against Ahlat, claiming the video was intentionally erased because it supported Ahlat's claims.
The judge declined, noting the possibility of a defense expert yanking a DVR hard drive to ruin the video countered the possibility the strike force intentionally, or negligently, destroyed it.