A Copiague man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for felony drug and weapon possession. The charges against Joe Nunez, 34, stemmed from a police response to two unrelated minor noise
complaints in August 2022.
On August 14, 2022, uniformed Suffolk County officers responded to the vicinity of Campagnoli Avenue in Copiague in response to unrelated noise complaints. Upon concluding addressing the noise complaints, the officers observed Nunez operating an unregistered dirt bike. When they attempted to approach him, Nunez fled on the dirt bike but struck a parked vehicle. Nunez then ran from the scene of the accident while an officer pursued him on foot.
During the chase, the officer observed Nunez throw a black metal object under a vehicle that was parked on the corner of Campagnoli Avenue and Colombo Avenue. The officer continued to chase Nunez and saw him throw a clear plastic bag over a fence and into a residential yard located on Columbo Avenue.
After apprehending and arresting Nunez, the officers returned to the two locations where Nunez discarded the items during the chase, and they recovered a loaded illegal firearm under the vehicle, as well as a clear plastic bag containing three separate bags containing substances that were later tested and determined to be fentanyl, cocaine, and crack cocaine, respectively.
Nunez has multiple prior felony convictions dating back to 2007. In 2015, Nunez was convicted of second-degree assault, a Class D violent felony. In 2009, he was convicted of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, both Class B felonies, and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a Class D felony. In 2007, Nunez was convicted of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
On May 23, 2023, Nunez was found guilty after a jury trial heard before Supreme Court Judge John B. Collins for the charges of:
● two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a Class B felony
● one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a Class C violent felony
● two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a Class C felony
● one count of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a Class D felony.
On September 7, 2023, Nunez was sentenced by Judge Collins to 15 years in prison followed by five years of post-release supervision.
“In this defendant’s haste to evade law enforcement, he damaged property, threw a loaded illegal weapon onto a public street, and littered someone’s yard with dangerous and deadly drugs,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney. “The prosecution of cases involving illegal drugs and guns is extremely important to my office because their infiltration into our communities inevitably results in violence, addiction, and death.”