Suspect sought crack pipe, got arrested


WESTFIELD – An Otis man who allegedly asked a convenience store clerk for a pipe “to smoke crack out of” was arrested a short time later for trafficking in methamphetamine.
Westfield Police Officer Steven Wood reports in a court document that on Aug. 8 he responded to a North Elm Street gas station and convenience store shortly after 1 a.m. in response to a report of a possibly intoxicated customer.
There, Wood found a man sitting in an open 2002 Chevrolet Sebring and reported, “I observed in the handle of the open door, tin foil and a filter. With my training and experience, I know these materials to be commonly used for the use of crack pipes.”
Investigating further, Wood observed the man was sitting on a crack pipe and apparently attempting to hide something in his waistband. He found that the man was attempting to conceal “a pink container which contained a crystal-like substance” which the man identified as methamphetamine.
In response to a question, the man said that there was cocaine in a cigarette box which was found near him on the front seat. Also found was a scale with white powder residue on the weighing platform.
The methamphetamine found was subsequently determined to weigh 35.22 grams, significantly more than the 18 gram minimum trafficking weight. City police suggest that a typical dose of the drug is between .1 and .2 grams so the amount seized apparently represented more than 100 potential sales.
Clarence E. Duell Jr., 52, of 230 Livingstone Ave., Apt. 1, Otis, was arrested for trafficking in more than 18 grams but less than 36 grams of methamphetamine. He was also charged with two counts of possession a Class B drug, both cocaine and methamphetamine.
Wood noted when he spoke with the store clerk who had reported the apparently intoxicated man, the clerk told him “the defendant came into the store specifically asking for a pipe ‘to smoke crack out of’’.”
Duell was arraigned the next day in Westfield District Court before Judge Charles Groce who set bail at $2,000. Duell did not post the bail and was held pending a pre-trial hearing on Sept. 1.
Unless the charges he faces are changed, Duell’s case will eventually be heard in Superior Court because the District Court does not have final jurisdiction for the trafficking charge.
According to the statute, the penalty for that charge, upon conviction, is “not less than 2 years, not more than 15 years or a fine not less than $2,500 and not more than $25,000. No sentence may be imposed that is less than the 2 years minimum imprisonment. Fine may not be in lieu of minimum 2 year imprisonment,”

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