NORWICH Two young men 19 and 20 appeared in Norwich City Court Thursday for a felony hearing following their arrest on drug charges July 20, 2015. At the conclusion of the proceedings, both were remanded to the local jail until further proceedings.
Javonte Schwartz, 19, and Jared S. Quackenbush, 20, were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a class B felony; criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree, a class D felony; and loitering in the first degree, a class B misdemeanor. Schwartz was additionally charged with the class A misdemeanor of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree.
The purpose of a felony hearing is to show evidence and hear testimony to determine whether or not a felony was committed, and if the there is reasonable belief that the defendant/s committed said felony.
The arresting officers in the case took the stand as witnesses for the prosecution.
Schwartz was represented by Assistant Public Defender Aaron Dean and Quackenbush was represented by Assistant Public Defender Pat Mavady.
Assistant District Attorney Thomas Bowen represented the prosecution.
The first witness called by Bowen was Norwich Police Department Sergeant Justin Carpenter. Carpenter said he has been employed with the NPD for nine years. After identifying both defendants in the courtroom, Carpenter explained how the arrest of the two ensued the night of July 20, 2015.
Carpenter said he was working in the north zone of the city when approached by two pedestrians. The sergeant said that the two informed him that there were drugs being sold behind the nearby hotel.
Carpenter said he would not give the names of the individuals in open court, as they were informants. I have gotten information from them before, said Carpenter. They said drugs were being sold behind [the hotel].
Dean asked Carpenter if the pedestrians were witnesses or actual Confidential Informants. Carpenter again testified that he would not say their names, nor would he give a number with regard to the amount of times the said individuals provided him with information.
Judge James Cushman asked the witness on the stand if the two were in fact actual Confidential Informants with the department or if they were merely witnesses.
The judge made the determination that the two were not in fact informants and that Carpenter had to answer the questions regarding them.