NORWICH – The current jury trial in Chenango County Court, involving Jose Iran Gonzalez, 48, of New Berlin, came to a close shortly after 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, and Gonzalez was found to be guilty on all counts.
It is alleged that at approximately 1:34 a.m. on Oct. 1 at the Howard Johnson's Hotel parking lot, located at 75 N. Broad St. in the City of Norwich, Gonzalez did knowingly and unlawfully possess 45 envelopes containing the narcotic drug heroin and 10 oblong white tablets marked “176” containing the narcotic drug dihydrocodeinone with acetaminophen, with the intent to sell.
Gonzalez, then 47, was originally charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a class B felony; possession with intent to sell; criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a class A misdemeanor; and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in the third degree, a class A misdemeanor.
Chenango County Court faced Gonzalez with a four count indictment at the time of his trial. All four counts had to do with the illegal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.
The remaining witness testimonies were heard on Friday Sept. 11, with closing statements and a verdict being reached late Monday afternoon.
Four witness testimonies were heard throughout the duration of last Thursdays court proceedings.
Chenango County Court on Friday Sept. 11, began with the District Attorney, Joseph A. McBride asking to recall Michael A. Purdy, the Chief Narcotics Investigator for the Norwich Police Department, to the stand briefly.
This was followed up by McBride arguing that if Mr. Gonzalez did take the stand to testify, and during his testimony he claimed to be an addict that according to certain case laws, McBride and the prosecution would be entitled to see Mr. Gonzalez's medical records regarding any treatment.
“If he takes the stand then we will move forward with getting the medical records, if not then there is no issue. I was hoping we could wrap this case up today but if we are going to proceed like this then I guess not,” said City Court Judge James E. Downey.
Purdy was then called back to the stand and asked various questions regarding the price of heroin at the time of the arrest last year, as well as if it were common for addicts to support their addiction by selling.
“20 to 25 dollars around the time of the arrest, and yes it is pretty common. It helps them support their habit or get money for anything by selling too,” answered Purdy.
“So Mr. Gonzalez had 900 to like 1,100 dollars worth of heroin on him when he was arrested?” asked McBride.
“If that is what it adds up to then I guess, I haven’t done the math,” said Purdy.
At this time McBride was done questioning all the witnesses and he announced that the people rested on the matter.
The defense and John Cameron, Gonzalez's attorney on the matter announced they would like to call their first witness, Ryne J Cornacchia, an employee of 5-years at NBT Bank in Norwich.
Cameron began by showing Cornacchia various papers and asked if he could identify them.
“Yes I recognize these, the first two are transaction records and the other three are images from various NBT locations,” said Cornacchia.
Cameron then inquired with Cornacchia if he recognized the transactions and if he could identify them.
“The transactions are from 9/27/14 until 9/28/14 and the first one is at 12:22 a.m. on the 27th with a withdrawal for $100,” said Cornacchia.
McBride objected at this time, claiming that this had nothing relevant to do with the case, the objection was overruled.
Cameron at that time attempted to enter all five documents into evidence, only to find McBride objecting again, claiming there was no evidence.
“These records are relevant, they show the funds which were used to buy the drugs,” answered McBride.
Cornacchia was asked to step down at this time and Jose Gonzalez took the stand to testify.
Gonzalez alleged that he had lived in the area since 2001, ever since he had moved to the area from Queens, New York where he had grown up. He claimed he moved to the area after meeting a girl and the distance caused him to move to Chenango County.