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Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Thursday, December 7, 2017, Jmin Ward, 36, of Middletown, pled guilty before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown to the crime of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, for having possessed over eight ounces of crack-cocaine.
At the time that Ward pled guilty, he admitted that on April 20, 2017, he knowingly possessed the cocaine at his residence at 41 Woodlake Drive in the City of Middletown. The cocaine was discovered when City of Middletown police officers, aided by the Orange County Sheriff’s Special Operations Group, executed a search warrant at Ward’s residence at 5:00 that morning. Ward had also been charged with two counts of Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the Second Degree, for possessing scales and packaging materials, which are commonly used in the drug trade.
Pursuant to the plea agreement announced in court at the time that Ward pled guilty, the District Attorney’s Office stated that it will recommend that Ward be sentenced to twelve years in state prison when he is sentenced on January 25, 2018.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the City of Middletown Police Department for their investigation and for the arrest of Ward, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Special Operations Group for their assistance in executing the search warrant
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Matthew Healy.
“Narcotics continue to be the number one driver of crimes throughout Orange County,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “My office will seek severe prison sentences for anyone who engages in the sale or possession of large amounts of narcotics. I commend the City of Middletown Police Department for their investigation of this case, and for the recovery of the cocaine, scales, and packaging materials from the defendant’s residence. I also thank the Sheriff’s Special Operations Group for aiding in the execution of the search warrant. It is only through the cooperation of all our law enforcement agencies, and the support of the public, that we can stop the devastation to our communities caused by narcotics.”
A criminal charge is merely an allegation by the police that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.