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Judge to consider dismissal of felony charge in Ogdensburg meth case

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CANTON — An Ogdensburg man who had misdemeanor charges against him in connection to manufacturing methamphetamine dismissed in June by a St. Lawrence County Court judge is now seeking to have a felony charge also dismissed in that case.

Mark A. Brossoit, 51, of 821 Main St., is charged with third-degree unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine, a class D felony.

Mr. Brossoit was arrested on March 1 following the execution of a search warrant on his home, where police allegedly discovered lab equipment consisting of a gas generator, funnels and pliers, solvents including fuel, catalysts including lithium batteries and reagents including muriatic acid and drain cleaning chemicals.

Police said he also had an unspecified amount of methamphetamine and a hypodermic needle.

In an Aug. 12 motion filed with County Court Judge Jerome J. Richards, Mr. Brossoit’s attorney, Public Defender Stephen D. Button, wrote that the district attorney’s office failed to provide a copy of the search warrant application that led to his client’s arrest.

“The district attorney has been placed on notice a minimum of four times with respect to this on-going request,” Mr. Button wrote. “On June 22, 2014 a response from Ms. Rain stating that defense counsel should ‘stop directing emails to (DA Rain) for cases that are not’ hers and directing defense counsel to direct any inquiry to the appropriate assistant district attorney handling the case as the district attorney, herself, knew ‘NOTHING’ about the case.”

Mr. Button added that he also copied Chief Assistant District Attorney David A. Haggard on each of the requests as he was the prosecutor who presented the case to the grand jury for indictment.

The failure to provide the search warrant application and exhibits that may accompany it has limited Mr. Brossoit’s ability to prepare a defense and has kept him in St. Lawrence County jail, Mr. Button wrote.

Moreover, the documents Mr. Button is stating he was not provided by the district attorney’s office are believed to contain information provided by an informant without any showing of the informant’s credibility or “independent corroboration of the informant’s assertions or reliability of the informant or basis for knowledge of the informant ...,” the motion stated.

Mr. Button argues that due to what he calls the DA’s refusal to turn over the requested evidence, the felony charge of third-degree unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine against Mr. Brossoit should be dismissed. He said the current evidence against his client does not demonstrate that at the time of arrest, anyone was actively engaged in the production of methamphetamine and that the drug was not discovered on the site.

In his June 18 decision, Judge Richards ruled that the evidence presented to the grand jury by Mr. Haggard did not support the charges of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument and he dismissed the charges. Judge Richards dismissed those charges, allowing prosecutors to re-present those dismissed counts to a different grand jury if they wish to do so.

The motion to dismiss the felony count against Mr. Brossoit for legally insufficient evidence was denied at that time because officers who testified had specialized training concerning the manufacturing of methamphetamine, thereby establishing a sufficient basis for opinions about the process and the components and equipment needed for manufacture, the judge ruled.

In his reply to Mr. Button’s motion seeking dismissal of the felony charge, Mr. Haggard denied the allegations made unless “conclusively substantiated by unquestionable documentary proof.’”

Mr. Haggard said the application for a search warrant requested by Mr. Button had been sealed with records by Ogdensburg City Judge William R. Small and was not part of the evidence to be turned over to the defense.

Because no new information could have been discovered at the time Mr. Button had entered into a stipulation in lieu of motion, Mr. Haggard said Mr. Button’s motion should be denied.

Additionally, Mr. Haggard said an application seeking to modify Mr. Brossiot’s being held in county jail on no bail also should be denied as no new information has been provided to the court that would require him to be released on his own recognizance or under probation supervision, or have a bail set.

Judge Richards has reserved his right to issue a written decision at a later date.

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