Woman charged with intent to sell heroin remains jailed in lieu of $15k cash bail

LACONIA — Judge Jim Carroll determined yesterday that a Bay Street woman charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute it would remain in the Belknap County House of Corrections on $15,000 cash-only bail.

Carrie M. Conway, 34, of 19 Bay St. was charged July 24 after Laconia Police executed a search warrant at her home. Her probable cause hearing was held yesterday in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division. She also faces one count of possession of heroin.

"It may be a sign I'm getting old but I always associated heroin with a skull and crossbones," said Judge Jim Carroll when Conway's attorney, Ted Barnes, asked for $250 cash-only bail coupled with high personal recognizance bail.

"I think $15,000 is conservative," he continued, adding the court takes all drugs very seriously and noting heroin's "seeming preponderance" in Laconia recently.

A probable cause hearing is not a trial but is a snapshot of the enough of the state's evidence such that a judge can determine if there is reason to justify further criminal proceedings. It is also a chance for the defendant to try and alter bail terms.

According to affidavits filed with the court and testimony of a city narcotics officer in court yesterday, Conway was arrested after police detained her minor son for whom they had gotten a warrant to search his person and home. The teen was picked up by police while riding his bicycle in a nearby parking lot. During the search, police found four small bags of heroin and $624 on his person.

Laconia Det. Chris Noyes said police got additional search warrants for Conway's person and home after finding the heroin on the teen.

Carroll said for the purposes of probable cause he gave great credence to Noyes's testimony that Conway allegedly told police she made "trips" or went to purchase heroin about every two days.

Noyes testified the amount of heroin seized in her home is more than what is used for daily consumption. He also said Conway lied to police when she initially told them the only heroin in the house was in her pocketbook.

He said after police found a safe under the bed, she admitted the four bags of heroin in it were hers. Noyes testified Conway gave police the safe combination.

Included in the things seized from the house was a set of scales. When Barnes questioned Noyes about evidence the scales belonged to Conway, Noyes said he didn't have any.

Barnes also questioned the validity of the search warrant because it listed an address different from 19 Bay St. Prosecutor Jim Sawyer argued it wasn't an element of the crime and Carroll agreed.

Conway lives in the apartment with her boyfriend, Jeremy Barton, 42.

Police charged Barton with one count of possession of methamphetamine. Barton was released on personal recognizance bail. He is facing a separate charge of possession of methamphetamine in the Belknap County Superior Court. His trial is scheduled for November of 2013, however he is scheduled to appear Monday after the Belknap County Attorney's Office filed a motion to revoke his bail.