Weapon, drug charges send man to prison

CLINTON — A Clinton man was ordered to serve up to five years in prison for a felony weapons charge and a misdemeanor drug charge.

Curtis J. Marquette, 29, 827 14th Ave. South, appeared Thursday in Clinton County District Court for sentencing for possession or control of a firearm or offensive weapon as a felon, a Class D felony; and possession of a controlled substance, second offense, namely heroin, an aggravated misdemeanor.

Assistant Clinton County Attorney James McHugh recommended the court impose incarceration. He cited the pre-sentence investigation recommendation for the court to order incarceration. He also cited Marquette's criminal history and the nature of the offense.

Defense attorney Eric Dale said a sentence of incarceration is probably the only realistic option before the court. He asked the court to order the sentences to run concurrently with each other and to a sentence in a parole violation report. Dale referenced Marquette's criminal history, stating there is a lack of violence in his previous criminal offenses. Dale said Marquette's criminal history shows he does not present significant harm to the community. He added Marquette never used the firearm to threaten anyone and did not use the firearm.

Marquette stated that as a younger adult he made the mistake of trying drugs, not realizing the long-term effects. He said he has goals and aspirations to be a productive member of society. He added he believes incarceration is the best thing for his life currently.

District Court Judge Patrick McElyea ordered Marquette to serve a sentence of incarceration not to exceed five years for possession or control of a firearm or offensive weapon as a felon, a Class D felony. He ordered Marquette to serve a sentence of incarceration not to exceed two years for possession of a controlled substance, second offense, namely heroin.

The sentences were ordered to be served concurrently. McElyea did not make a determination on whether the sentences will run consecutively or concurrently to the parole violation case.

Fines of $750 and $625 were suspended. Marquette was given credit for any time served in the Clinton County Jail in connection with the case. One count of possession of drug paraphernalia was dismissed at sentencing, with costs assessed to the State. Appeal bond was set at $5,000, cash only. Any previous bond was exonerated.

According to the affidavit, at 12:03 a.m. June 21, an officer observed Marquette riding a bicycle north in the 200 block of South Sixth Street. Marquette was stopped for not having a light to the front of his bicycle. An officer noticed Marquette's backpack 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 looked like the tip of a gun barrel. The bag was removed and Marquette was detained in handcuffs.

The affidavit states the officer opened the bag and saw a shortened shotgun barrel separated from the receiver. Marquette admitted he had a needle in his pocket. An officer located two orange baggies and a small piece of plastic in his coin pocket. An officer recovered a syringe from another pocket. The syringe contained blood-colored liquid within the barrel.

The affidavit continues that Marquette admitted to using heroin within five minutes of officers stopping him. One of the orange baggies recovered from Marquette's pocket contained a piece of plastic, tightly rolled around an off-white 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 baggie was heroin. The weight of the suspected heroin totaled 0.6 grams with packaging.

Marquette's criminal history revealed he was convicted of a drug felony on Oct. 17, 2013, and a weapons violation on Jan. 5, 2017.