13 indicted by grand jury

NORWICH – The Chenango County grand jury handed up a number of criminal indictments on Wednesday. At a grand jury proceeding, the Chenango County District Attorney’s Office presents evidence against those they wish to prosecute. It is up to the jury to decide if there is enough reasonable cause to charge a person with a felony offense.

Those indicted by the grand jury are arraigned before the county or Supreme Court judge at a later date.

The grand jury indicted 13 individuals:



• Tafari J. Simmons, 19, of Brooklyn, was indicted on two counts of third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class B felony; and one count of fourth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class C felony.

Allegedly Simmons, at approximately 1:52 p.m. on June 5, 2013, had 23 individually wrapped packages containing the narcotic drug cocaine, at 8 Mechanic Street in the City of Norwich. It is believed Simmons intended to sell the packages containing a total of 4.52 grams of cocaine as well as five individually wrapped packages of the narcotic drug heroin.

• Thomas E. Bates, 45, of Norwich, was indicted on the charge of driving while ability impaired by drugs, a class E felony.

It’s alleged Bates, at approximately 12:47 p.m. on March 26, 2013, operated a 1999 Honda Civic while his ability to do so was hampered by drugs on County Road 32 in the Town of Norwich. During a vehicle stop, Bates failed a field sobriety test, was observed to have glassy eyes. Following the traffic stop he also tested positive for Oxycodone.

In January, 2009, Bates was convicted of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated in the Norwich City Court.

• Christopher M. Bennett, 40, of Symrna, was indicted on two counts of fourth degree grand larceny, a class E felony; and one count of petit larceny, a class A misdemeanor.

It is alleged that Bennett stole two wallets from two separate individuals, each of which contained credit cards and debit cards. One of the wallets also contained $400. According to his indictment, the alleged crimes took place at approximately 4:30 p.m. on July 20, 2013, at Denny’s Bar located at 75 North Broad Street, in the City of Norwich.


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