Guilty plea over burglary of NH State Police garage
BRENTWOOD — A Northwood man admitted to burglarizing the State Police barracks garage in Epping where he allegedly removed drugs from his car. Ryan Mackenzie, 29, pleaded guilty in Rockingham County Superior Court to one count of felony burglary as part of a last-minute plea deal with county prosecutors. The decision came just before a jury was going to be picked for his trial Monday.
Mackenzie broke into the Troop A barracks on Route 125 sometime on Dec. 29, 2011 after state police seized his vehicle, according to prosecutors.
A state police K-9 indicated drugs were inside his car, and a state trooper later spotted a partially open cigarette pack in the car’s console. The trooper spotted a white substance wrapped in clear plastic inside the cigarette pack. But when a trooper came back to execute a search warrant on the vehicle on Dec. 30, the cigarette pack was gone.
Police gathered evidence against Mackenzie when they learned from a confidential informant that he told others about the burglary, according to prosecutors.
The deal struck Monday is known as a capped plea, which will leave it up to a judge to ultimately decide the sentence. Prosecutors plan on seeking a 12-month jail sentence for Mackenzie.
The defense will be able to argue for a lesser sentence.
Last month, a judge ruled against a bid by Mackenzie to have evidence thrown out on his case.
On Monday, Judge Marguerite Wageling decided to allow Mackenzie to call upon a doctor to testify about drug addiction.
The defense suggested that Mackenzie carried out the burglary not to remove evidence, but because of his need to feed his drug addiction, according to court records.
“(Mackenzie) suggests there is ample circumstantial evidence for the jury to concluded that (he) is a cocaine addict due to the drug paraphernalia found within his motor vehicle,” Wageling said in the order. “Further, he contends that this circumstantial evidence supports a conclusion that (he) removed cocaine from the motor vehicle during the burglary.”
Prosecutors agreed to drop a charge of falsifying physical evidence as part of the agreement.