Man pleads guilty to drug, weapon charges

CLINTON — A Clinton man pleaded guilty Thursday to one felony and one misdemeanor charge.

Curtis J. Marquette, 29, 827 14th Ave. South, appeared Thursday in Clinton County District Court and pleaded guilty to possession or control of a firearm or offensive weapon as a felon, a Class D felony. The State will not proceed on the habitual offender allegation. The plea agreement states Marquette agreed to plead guilty to possession of a controlled substance, namely heroin, an aggravated misdemeanor. The pleas are open pleas and no promises are made regarding sentencing, which is set for 9:30 a.m. Aug. 30.

According to the affidavit, officers were working as a two-man unit in an unmarked police vehicle June 21. An officer at 12:03 a.m. observed Marquette riding a bicycle north in the 200 block of South Sixth Street. Marquette was stopped for not having a light on the front of his bicycle. The officer's attention became focused on the bottom left portion of Marquette's backpack. The officer noticed the bag appeared mostly empty but was heavily weighted at the bottom. The officer noticed the weighted object came to a single point on the bottom portion. The object coming to a point bulged out of the bag and looked like the tip of a gun barrel.

The affidavit states the officer requested Marquette to remove his bag. Marquette asked if he could have a lawyer present. Marquette stated "I found it" prior to the officer removing his bag. The officer asked Marquette what he found and Marquette replied it was a gun barrel. Marquette was detained in handcuffs after the bag was removed.

The affidavit continues that the officer opened the bag and observed a shortened shotgun separated from the receiver. It had a pistol grip duct taped to the end instead of the original stock. The barrel was later confirmed to be less than 18 inches in length. Marquette admitted he had a needle in his pocket. An officer located two orange bags and a small piece of plastic in Marquette's coin pocket. An officer recovered a syringe from another pocket. The syringe contained blood-colored liquid within the barrel, which commonly occurs from the flash of blood prior to injecting.

The affidavit states Marquette admitted to using heroin within five minutes of officers stopping him. One of the orange bags recovered from Marquette's pocket contained a piece of plastic, tightly rolled around a powdered substance. The plastic appeared to be the same size as the empty plastic observed in Marquette's coin pocket. The officer believed the substance within the bag was heroin. The suspected heroin was not field tested due to the dangers of synthetic opiates. The weight of the suspected heroin totaled 0.6 grams with packaging. Marquette's criminal history revealed Marquette was convicted of a drug felony on Oct. 17, 2013, and a weapon violation on Jan. 5, 2017.