Jury set and opening statements heard in Chenango County Court

NORWICH – Following two days of deliberation starting this past Wednesday, the 14-person jury was set in order to hear testimony of a drug-related case in Chenango County Court.

The jury case in Chenango County Court this week involves Jose Iran Gonzalez, 48, of New Berlin who was originally arrested in Oct. 1, 2014 by the Norwich Police Department.

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.

This arrest stemmed from an alert which was put out by the New Berlin Police Department for a stolen vehicle.

It is also alleged that when the vehicle was located in the Howard Johnson's parking lot that there was another individual inside the vehicle. Gonzalez was not in the vehicle when the car was approached but was found nearby.

Gonzalez, then 47, was 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.

At approximately 10:37 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10, the final two jurors who will sit on the case were selected to complete the jury selection. At this time City Court Judge, James E. Downey called a 20-minute court recess.

At approximately 10:56 a.m. Chenango County Court was officially back in session in front of the jury.

“Opening statements will now take place, these opening statements and summations for that matter are not evidence, evidence will be provided in between the statements,” said Judge Downey as he addressed the jury.

“Mr. Gonzalez did commit the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class B felony. On Oct. 1, 2014, at approximately 1:34 a.m. Mr. Gonzalez did knowingly and unlawfully possess 45 individually packaged heroin with intent to sell, as well as 10 oblong white tablets containing hydrocodeinone with acetaminophen that were found in his possession,” said Assistant District Attorney, Thomas L. Bowen, Jr.

“Officers Miller and Legacy were out on the night patrol when they were told to look for a stolen vehicle. When Officer Miller pulled up to the car in question, he ran the plates and they matched the stolen car. Officer Miller discovered that there was in fact a passenger sitting in the car when he approached it and asked, “Where is the driver?” to which the passenger pointed to Denny’s restaurant where Mr. Gonzalez was exiting the back exit, as well as told him he was getting food. Gonzalez then turned an about face and walked towards the front, in which Miller radioed Officer Legacy to pull up out front, where he found Gonzalez,” continued Bowen.

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