Woman pleads guilty in heroin-swallowing incident

Cary Ashby • Oct 30, 2012 at 3:10 PM

A Monroeville woman pleaded guilty Monday to an amended charge related to swallowing heroin during a Wakeman traffic stop.

Carol L. Schaffer, 50, of 5321 N. Ohio 99, pleaded guilty to attempted tampering with evidence. She was a passenger during a June 2 traffic stop by the Wakeman Police Department at the intersection of South River Street and Ohio 303 in the village.

As part of a plea deal, Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler agreed to dismiss the remaining charge on her indictment, possession of heroin.

An officer stopped the sport utility vehicle for a stop sign violation and multiple equipment violations.

Police reported finding drug paraphernalia, multiple syringes, aluminum foil and a cooking spoon in the Dodge Durango, which had three female occupants. Leffler said one of the women said they had bought some heroin and each occupant "pointed to the other women" when officers asked if any of them had swallowed the drugs.

The three women were taken to the Fisher-Titus Medical Center emergency room for treatment. Leffler said Schaffer later passed some heroin.

Chief Tim Hunker, soon after the stop, said all three women swallowed a total of 25 balloons of black tar heroin.

"There were over 60 hits of black tar inside these balloons. Some had five and others had two," Hunker said. "They were coming from Cleveland and stopped at a local store and bought some syringes."

The drugs had an estimated street value of $900.

About 10:15 p.m. Aug. 20, Schaffer was stopped by Norwalk Police Sgt. Jim Montana while driving on Washington Street.

She was charged with driving under the influence and possession of drug abuse instruments in connection with Montana finding five used syringes in her purse. Schaffer also was arrested on a failure to pay fines and costs warrant issued through Norwalk Municipal Court and transported to the Huron County Jail.

Schaffer, who is out on a $10,000 bond, will be sentenced Dec. 11. She faces six to 18 months behind bars and a maximum fine of $5,000.

Leffler, citing the plea deal with defense attorney T. Douglas Clifford, said the state agreed to recommend some form of community control sanction, which could include Schaffer spending four to six months in a community-based corrections facility (CBCF). A CBCF is a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education.

"Ms. Schaffer has a fairly serious drug problem," Leffler told the court.

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