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Grandma who stole Xanax sent to prison

Cary Ashby • Oct 4, 2012 at 11:24 PM

The defendant wanted her sentencing hearing delayed a week or two so she could check on her daughter, who is four months pregnant and on bed rest.

Her daughter, who has cystic fibrosis, reportedly is supposed to have some "urgent" medical appointments soon.

"I'm really worried about it," said Cheryl M. Allen, 44, of 622 W. Pearl St., Willard.

The delay didn't happen.

Instead, Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway sentenced Allen to 17 months in prison Wednesday. The judge said he'd consider releasing Allen early -- after about a year -- into a community-based corrections facility (CBCF), a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education.

"I know I need help with my drug addiction and I don't think prison will help it. I think a CBCF would help more," she said.

In mid-July, Allen pleaded guilty to an amended charge of attempted theft of drugs for a May 24 incident. In a plea deal, Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler agreed to dismiss a misdemeanor count of possession of alprazolam in connection with a May 25 offense.

Allen must pay $40 in restitution to the Huron County Sheriff's Office to cover the cost of drug testing. Her driver's license also was suspended for six months.

"She has had trouble staying off the substances," Leffler said, noting Allen is smart enough to know how to sell drugs.

Allen took a man's Xanax and sold it to several people, said the prosecutor, who recommended a year in prison or early release.

Huron County Public Defender David Longo had a different perspective on the case. He said Allen took the medication from the victim "at his request," didn't immediately return it and may have stolen some of the drugs.

"I'm not aware of any commercial trafficking," Longo said.

At the end of the hearing, Conway told Allen he would allow her to stay in the Huron County Jail until Friday so her daughter could visit her. Allen had been released on a personal recognizance bond since mid-July.

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