Laconia man indicted for possession of narcotics with intent to sell stemming from downtown arrest

LACONIA — A grand jury that met on December 20 has indicted a local man for two counts of possession of controlled drugs with intent to distribute and one count of sales of narcotics.

Joseph Morrissette, 24, formerly of Court Street, is being held in the Belknap County Jail where he had been since he was arrested on September 24 by a Belknap County sheriff's deputy who saw him leaning into a car that was illegally parked on Main Street.

Morrissette allegedly ran from the deputy and was Tasered twice during his arrest. He has also been charged with one count of resisting arrest and one count of simple assault for allegedly cutting the lip of the deputy during their struggle.

After his arrest, affidavits said deputies found four bags of heroin and four bags of cocaine in his possession, as well as $1,522 in cash. He was charged with two separate counts of possession of narcotics with intent to distribute.

Although the charges of resisting arrest and simple assault are misdemeanors and are normally handled by the Circuit Court, the state decided to seek enhanced penalties and the cases are pending in Belknap County Superior Count. Morrissette has filed for an affirmative defense saying his alleged resisting arrest and simple assault actions were taken in self-defense.

On October 5, Circuit Court Judge Jim Carroll ruled that the drugs seized during the September 24 arrest were not admissible because the actions of the deputy — who was addressing a traffic violation — were directed at the driver of the car who drove away while Morrissette was talking with the deputy — not Morrissette.

With the recent indictments, it appears the Belknap County Attorneys Office feels differently and will go forward prosecuting the two possession with intent to distribute narcotics charges against Morrissette.

Morrissette was also indicted for one count of sale of heroin. The date of the sale in the indictment was listed as September 24.

Police affidavits filed with the court at the time indicated that before the deputy saw Morrissette leaning into the car on Main Street, he had gotten some information from a Laconia Police detective regarding Morrissette's alleged role in a prior heroin sale.

On December 11, Morrissette was one of 13 people arrested by Laconia police in a drug sweep done throughout the city. He was charged with one count of sales of narcotics for an incident that allegedly took place on July 24, 2013.

The earliest he could be indicted for the newest charge in January of 2014.