'I know what I did was wrong. All I can do is move forward'

Cary Ashby • Nov 9, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Thirty days in the Huron County Jail on the work release program.

It's what two co-defendants and a former local couple received this week for the sales of morphine and heroin.

"I can't take it back; I can only move forward as a productive member of society," Scott A. Shuker said in court Wednesday.

On Sept. 21 -- one day after turning 27 and one day after his co-defendant was found guilty of four drug charges, Shuker pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting the sale of methadone.

In a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to dismiss several other drug-trafficking charges.

Chelsey M. McCullough, 23, of rural New London, was found guilty of two counts each of selling heroin and morphine. The Huron County Common Pleas Court jury deliberated for about two hours and 20 minutes after hearing two full days of testimony.

Moments after hearing the verdict, McCullough told visiting Judge Thomas Pokorny "I've never used heroin." On Tuesday, the former Norwalk resident told the judge she'd taken some methadone and Percocet earlier that morning for a reported medical condition.

Shuker, of 16782 Township Road 136, Bellevue, was in court Wednesday to be sentenced by Judge Jim Conway.

"I know what I did was wrong. All I can do is move forward," Shuker said.

A confidential informant testified she paid McCullough and Shuker $40 for two pills of morphine March 12 in the Rite Aid parking lot. She said Shuker took one green balloon, which included two doses, from his pocket and gave it to her.

Two other transactions happened in the West Seminary Street apartment where McCullough and Shuker were living at the time. The informant, who met McCullough through a mutual friend, set up the transactions through text messages.

"What we have is not a minor crime," said Shuker's defense attorney, Charles Hall. "There shouldn't be a slap on the wrist."

However, Hall requested the judge consider imposing no jail time or placing Shuker on electronically-monitored house arrest.

Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff, who tried Shuker's case, said the defendant "was significantly involved" in dealing drugs. He recommended a 90-day jail term.

Shuker started a full-time job in his career, stone masonry, Monday. He has completed an outpatient, substance abuse treatment program at Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services.

"I've done the after-care," Shuker said.

Upon reviewing the defendant's pre-sentence report, Conway said Shuker had the second lowest score that reflects the possibility of re-offending he's ever seen.

"The evaluators think you have taken care of yourself and you're on the right path," the judge told Shuker, who will be on three years of basic probation.

McCullough is on three years of intensive probation. Both defendants must reimburse the Norwalk Police Department $160 to cover the cost of drug testing. Shuker also was fined $250.

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