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STONINGTON — A West Kingston man is being held on bond after police said he was found to be in possession of heroin while parked in his car behind Stonington High School on Sunday afternoon with a child in the car.

The man, Joseph Criag DiMella, 39, was held overnight and arraigned in New London Superior Court Monday on charges of drinking while operating a motor vehicle, risk of injury to a minor, possession of narcotics within 1,500 feet of a school zone, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a controlled substance. He did not enter a plea.

Bond was set at $10,000 and DiMella was ordered held at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center in Montville, according to state records.

Stonington dispatchers received a call from a person around 2:30 p.m. who reported that a man was parked in the rear lot of the high school near the baseball field and appeared to be "using narcotics by way of a hypodermic needle," according to a summary report.

Officers approached DiMella's car and quickly established that DiMella was using heroin, the police said. The child was in the passenger seat when officers arrived. The age and gender of the child were not released.

The police reported that multiple hypodermic needles were spread throughout the car, and that DiMella was drinking beer and preparing to inject heroin. The car's engine was also running when officers arrived, the report said.

DiMella was given a field sobriety test and passed.

While at the station, officers said they learned that DiMella was wanted on a New London arrest warrant; it was unclear in court records what the warrant was related to. DiMella did not enter a plea on Monday; he is due back in court on April 25.

jvallee@thewesterlysun.com

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