A trial to determine the guilt or innocence of a Dover man accused in the brutal double-slaying of two women in Farmington almost three years ago is proving not only riveting courtroom drama but also an eyeopener into how at least one drug enterprise entity operated with seeming impunity for years, even after multiple arrests of its alleged ringleader.
Dean Smoronk, who is listed as a witness for both the state and the defense in the Timothy Verrill murder trial, is alleged in trial testimony thus far as the ringleader of a drug enterprise that stretched from Farmington to Southwest Florida to California.
Smoronk, 57, has been arrested on drug charges multiple times over the years beginning during his college days in Illinois in the 1980s when he attended Southern Illinois University.
Smoronk was pursuing a bachelor's in forestry when he was arrested May 10, 1982, by agents from the Southern Illinois Enforcement Group for the alleged sale of 25 units of LSD to an undercover agent, The Rochester Voice reported in October 2017. According to the Southern Illinoisan newspaper, Smoronk, 20 at the time, sold the LSD to the undercover agent for $412.
Smoronk was convicted in September 1983 in connection with the case and was sentenced to 24 months of probation and paid $600 in fines and court costs, according to newspaper records.
Smoronk ended up graduating from Southern Illinois in 1984 with a degree in forestry and a minor in plant and soil science, according to school records.
His next known brush with the law came in 2014 in South Carolina when he was arrested with longtime girlfriend Christine Sullivan on drug possession charges. Those charges against Smoronk are still outstanding.
Verrill's defense team has suggested that Smoronk may have somehow had a hand in Sullivan's death, allegedly because he feared she may have been getting ready to testify against him in the South Carolina case.
Sullivan, along with Jenna Pellegrini, were slain in January 2017, allegedly by Verrill, who is now facing life in prison if found guilty of first-degree murder.
But Smoronk continued to deal. Five months after the killings, he was arrested on Interstate 95 in Virginia for drug possession, for which he served a year in jail in the Henrico County Jail.
And last month Smoronk pleaded guilty to trafficking in meth in federal court in Concord. He faces several years in prison when he is sentenced in December.
According to the formal plea agreement obtained by The Rochester Voice, DEA officials and New Hampshire State Police learned in June 2018 of Smoronk's involvement in the drug deal through a confidential informant who said Smoronk planned to have a supply of meth shipped from a source in California to an address in Lebanon, Maine.
Smoronk is currently being held at a secure location somewhere in the state of New Hampshire, authorities say.
And while it's not clear what he will say when he gets on the stand and testifies under oath, it's certain that whatever he says will have a large impact on the outcome of this monthlong trial.