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Juvenile court sees first heroin trafficking case

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 28, 2015 at 3:51 PM

The drug case involving a 17-year-old Milan Avenue boy is the first heroin trafficking case Huron County Juvenile Court Administrator Chris Mushett remembers seeing.

"To my knowledge this is the first heroin trafficking complaint we've received," said Mushett, the administrator for the past 25 years.

"We've had a couple cases in the last couple of years when (juveniles) were using heroin or under the influence of heroin (while) committing unruly offenses," Mushett said.

The Norwalk suspect entered a denial Friday to one count of trafficking in heroin, a fourth-degree felony if committed by an adult, in connection with a March 18 incident near his home. Judge Timothy Cardwell scheduled a pretrial hearing for Monday and ordered the boy returned to the Erie County Juvenile Detention Center.

It's unknown how much heroin the suspect is accused of selling.

If convicted, the boy could spend from six months up to his 21st birthday in the Department of Youth Services.

In 2005, Cardwell oversaw 79 delinquency cases involving drugs or alcohol and 46 complaints were considered violations of "drug laws." Five more drugs and alcohol cases that year were related to unruliness charges.

The suspects in 23 cases in 2005 were referred to a drug screen. The annual report doesn't indicate if any of those complaints were related to the same incidents and the numbers for 2006 were not available.

Mushett said it's "not unusual" to discover parents used heroin in connection with various dependency, abuse and neglect cases.

During a January 2006 juvenile court hearing, former Plymouth residents Gary and Sheila Hall admitted to selling and using heroin plus taking their three children to Columbus for heroin buys. Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler, during the criminal portion of the case in May, said the Halls created a harmful environment by allowing the children to use their father's cotton balls with heroin residue to get addicted.

The two older children, as of mid-May, were placed in foster homes and the youngest sibling was in the custody of a grandmother.

Gary Hall, 41, started serving a five-year prison term June 8 at the Marion Correctional Institution for felony charges of child endangerment, attempted child endangerment and possession of heroin out of that case. Sheila A. Hall, 35, started her 17-month prison term May 19 at the Northeast Pre-Release Center for attempted child endangerment, a fourth-degree felony.

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