BRISTOL - A city man believed by police to be selling heroin and fentanyl appears intent on going to trial.
Lawrence Hughes, 54, turned down a plea deal during a hearing on Wednesday in Bristol Superior Court. The deal would have sent him to prison for two years, followed by three years of probation.
Following his rejection of the plea bargain, which was offered by state prosecutors, Judge John Cronan advised Hughes that he could be looking at more than 20 years in prison if he heads to trial and is convicted.
“He says he still wishes not to accept the offer,” said Thomas Mitchell-Hoffler, Hughes’ attorney.
Mitchell-Hoffler was granted a continuance until June 17, but Cronan said he wants that proceeding to be a pretrial hearing - meaning the judge can offer his own plea bargain.
Cronan added that the case appears to be heading toward a trial.
According to court documents, police in May 2018 received information indicating Hughes and another suspect were selling heroin and fentanyl from a home on Kelley Street and out of a pickup truck. Police did surveillance for at least a month, finding behavior that they called consistent with narcotics trafficking, court documents said.
Police reported that officers made multiple arrests involving people who had just been seen with Hughes and the other suspect. Those arrested told police they had bought narcotics from the suspects, court papers continued.
Last June, police raided a home where Hughes and the suspect were living, finding heroin, alprazolam - which is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders - a cutting agent, a digital scale and a facsimile firearm, court documents said.
Hughes, who is free on $25,000 bond, faces charges of possession with intent to sell a narcotic substance, distribution of drugs within 1,500 feet of a prohibited area and possession of a controlled substance.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or email@example.com.