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Concord man intended to sell oxycodone, state police say

A Concord man charged Wednesday with possession of a controlled narcotic with intent to distribute had 200 pills of oxycodone strapped to his body when he was arrested, a state police prosecutor said yesterday.

Justin Owen, 22, had 200 pills “rubber-banded to his privates,” and about 700 more at his Hazel Drive residence, the prosecutor, James Shepard, said during Owen’s arraignment yesterday in Concord’s district court.

The search of Owen’s residence also turned up marijuana seeds, more than $4,700 in cash, a loaded 380-caliber handgun, and throwaway cell phones, Shepard said.

“The state maintains all of this indicates Mr. Owen is running a drug network,” he said, arguing for Owen’s bail to be set at $25,000 cash.

Public Defender James Quay said Shepard’s argument was based on “bald allegations.” It’s not illegal to have a pistol, cell phones or cash, he said.

“There is simply not enough here to hold this defendant, who is presumed innocent,” Quay said. He asked Judge Gerard Boyle to set bail at $20,000 personal recognizance or $1,500 cash and the remainder personal recognizance for Owen, who, according to both lawyers, has no criminal record.

Boyle set bail at $15,000 cash. “I am concerned for the safety of the public,” based on the allegations in the complaint and what the police found in Owen’s home, Boyle said. If Owen makes bail, Boyle ordered that a hearing will be held to determine the source of the funds.

The state police said Owen’s arrest was the result of a two-month investigation by their Narcotics and Investigations Unit and the Concord Police Department. An affidavit filed in support of his arrest doesn’t explain how he came under investigation.

Quay said in court yesterday that Owen was driving on Broadway Street or Wednesday when he was pulled over by seven state troopers. He said Owen, who graduated from high school in 2008, has worked for the last year as a club promoter and was “setting up for an event.”

A woman who identified herself as Owen’s mother told the court yesterday that her son had a change jar that belonged to her, and some of the cash seized may have been hers.

“He’s a good kid,” she said. “He made a mistake, you know?”

A probable cause hearing is scheduled for Nov. 9.

(Maddie Hanna can be reached at 369-3321 or or on Twitter @maddiehanna.)

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