NORWICH – On Friday, City of Norwich Police officers apprehended a suspect wanted on a court warrant issued by a neighboring county, and reported he was in possession of hundreds of doses worth of drugs at the time of his arrest.
During the arrest, Norwich officers reported locating approximately seven bricks of heroin mixed with fentanyl. Investigators estimated it would be sold as 500 individual envelopes, with each envelope often containing two doses for a drug user. Police also reported finding smaller quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine. Officers also seized other drug paraphernalia, packaging, and more than $1,000 in cash.
“These drugs are killing people in this community every week, ruining our neighborhoods, and exposing our youth to deadly substances,” said Norwich City Police Chief Reuben J. Roach.
Roach reported that officers found the suspect at the Grand Union parking lot in the middle of downtown Norwich, carrying the drugs and related materials on his person.
Austin B. Hutchins, 29, of Norwich, was charged with criminal possession of a narcotic with intent to sell, a B class felony. He was also charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor
Though Hutchins was held by police and turned over to the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, Chief Roach noted the felony-level drug dealing charge by itself was not enough to keep a defendant in jail.
Roach said the suspect would have been released back into the community if it wasn't for a separate pending drug warrant from Oneida.
“It is disheartening that we could not arraign Mr. Hutchins and had to release him [to the custody of Oneida County] on an appearance ticket in compliance with bail reform,” said Roach.
Hutchins will appear in Norwich City Court at a later date over the local charges.
All crimes described are allegations, and suspects named are innocent of the charges until proven guilty in a court of law.