Buyer testifies at accused drug dealer's trial

A man facing criminal charges of purchasing two "eight balls" of crack cocaine from accused drug dealer Kevin Cherry in Norwich last year testified at Cherry's trial Monday in hopes of garnering leniency in his own case.

Cherry, 35, the target of a March 2013 narcotics investigation by Norwich police, pleaded not guilty to sale of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell and possession of narcotics, and opted for a jury trial in New London Superior Court.

On Monday, prosecutor Paul J. Narducci called several police officers to testify about the investigation that led to the seizure of 35 grams of crack cocaine, $2,700 in cash and oxycodone pills from Cherry's condominium at 188 Summit St.

Narducci also called to the witness stand Jean Joseph of Dayville, who allegedly purchased two "eight balls" of crack, or about 7 grams of the drug, from Cherry.

With his attorney, M. Fred DiCaprio sitting in the audience, Joseph took the witness stand and admitted the state's attorney had made no promises but that he was testifying with the hope of consideration with his own case.

Joseph said he was looking to buy some "smoke," and got Cherry's name from another man.

He said he drove to the Summit Street address with his wife, knocked on the door and left with the drug after talking to Cherry for a few minutes. He said he paid $300 for the crack, which he handed to his wife when he got into the car. He drove about two blocks before he was pulled over by police, who had been watching the Summit Street condo.

Not wanting his wife to get arrested, Joseph admitted the drugs were his. He was charged with possession and sale of narcotics and decided to cooperate.

He said he had served five years for narcotics offenses and had worked at a halfway house after getting clean. Under cross-examination, by defense attorney Gregg W. Wagman, he admitted he was shaken up by his arrest and did not want to return to prison.

The trial resumes Tuesday.

k.florin@theday.com

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