BEATRICE – A trial is set to get underway Wednesday for a Blue Springs man charged with drug distribution.

Jury selection is scheduled in the trial of 61-year-old Steven Caporale, who has pleaded not guilty to a charge of distributing methamphetamine within or near a school zone or playground. 

If convicted of the felony, he could receive up to fifty years in prison.  A conviction on the charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison.

Caporale was arrested following a May 2016 Nebraska State Patrol undercover investigation in which authorities say a confidential informant working with law officers allegedly paid $300 in undercover drug funds to purchase three grams of methamphetamine, from Caporale. 

A state patrol investigator said the monitored drug sale took place in the parking lot of a Wymore convenience store, within one-thousand feet of McCandless Park, which has a playground area.

Caporale’s attorney previously challenged whether the investigator actually knew the transaction had occurred within one-thousand feet of the playground area, or whether he was guessing.

Three days have been reserved for the trial in Gage County District Court.