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New mom gets probation for food benefits violation

Cary Ashby • Oct 18, 2012 at 5:41 PM

A single mom convicted of attempting to misuse food benefits who had been arrested at two drug dealers' home was placed on non-reporting probation Tuesday.

Jessica L. Dyer, 27, of Fostoria, was arrested during the March 2 raid on Rae Court, Willard, which involved members of the Willard Police Department, Huron County Sheriff's Office and METRICH Drug Task Force.

Dyer was found in possession of two inactive electronic benefit cards, which she didn't use, but had been left in the residence, Huron County Public Defender David Longo said. One card belonged to a person who was in prison and the other owner is a fugitive of justice.

"I don't think anyone was harmed in the case," Longo said.

In April, Dyer was indicted on illegal use of supplemental nutrition benefits or the WIC program, a fifth-degree felony. She later pleaded guilty to attempted illegal use, a first-degree misdemeanor.

The mother of a 10-month-old boy, Dyer voluntarily entered a drug treatment center. She has been baby-sitting and cleaning houses on as-needed basis.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler had requested Dyer be given a 90-day jail sentence, citing her "significant drug problem." She also is on probation for a 2009 heroin case through Seneca County.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway said a jail term wouldn't be productive, noting Dyer "has bigger fish to fry in Seneca County," which could result in tougher consequences.

Dyer was placed on two years of non-reporting probation and fined $250. The court suspended 176 days in jail.

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