BRISTOL - A city man facing a number of drug charges, accused of selling crack cocaine, could be looking at more than eight years in prison.
Wayne Zipke, 45, of 41 Summer St., turned down a plea deal Tuesday, during a hearing in Bristol Superior Court, that would have landed him behind bars for two and a half years, followed by two and a half years of special parole.
The deal had been offered by state prosecutor Jeffrey Lee, who told Zipke on Tuesday the plea bargain is now off the table. Zipke’s attorney was granted a request for a judicial pretrial hearing, after which a judge can extend his own plea bargain.
However, Lee advised Zipke that he is not willing to change any of the charges filed against him, some of which carry minimum, mandatory sentences.
“He’s starting at eight years,” Lee said.
Following the prosecutor’s warning that he would be looking at a minimum of eight years behind bars, Zipke opted to go ahead with the pretrial hearing, which is scheduled for March 19.
Zipke, who is being held on $250,000, is facing four counts of sale of narcotics, three counts of distribution of a controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a prohibited place and one count of possession of a controlled substance.
According to the police report, officers on Sept. 9 at about 7:30 p.m. received the report of a suspicious person in a vehicle on Surrey Drive. Police then found Zipke sleeping behind the wheel of a Cadillac DeVille.
Officers, the report said, recognized Zipke from a narcotics-related investigation. Police reported seeing crack cocaine as he got out of the vehicle. When police asked him if was using or selling, Zipke admitted that he was “running,” the report said. A runner is a common term for someone selling drugs on behalf of another dealer.
Police said they found a gram of crack cocaine in the car and $254. Additionally, Zipke was charged in connection with three warrants in an investigation in which he allegedly sold drugs multiple times while police were watching him. Those warrants were ordered sealed by a judge after the arrest.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.