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'Heroin house' raided in Norwalk

Cary Ashby • Dec 8, 2012 at 12:04 AM

Several people were arrested this week on drug charges when the Norwalk Police Department special response team and detective bureau used a search warrant at 14 E. Harkness St.

"It's a heroin house," Detective Sgt. Jim Fulton said about the Harkness Street residence.

One of the suspects is accused of helping commit four burglaries in the city while another is a convicted sex offender.

Police said officers had received information about people selling and using heroin by the residents there. Authorities obtained a warrant from Norwalk Municipal Court Judge John Ridge and used it during a raid at 8:48 p.m. Monday.

Officers seized about 80 doses of heroin and recovered several pieces of stolen property: A 42-inch flat screen television, a guitar, chain saw, one firearm lock box used for a rifle and assorted jewelry.

Fulton said the items came from burglaries at 34 Erie St., 55 Williams St., 12 W. Chestnut St. and 107 St. Mary's St.

"There's stuff we haven't recovered yet," he said.

Cory B. Smith, 24, of 40 Corwin St., was charged with burglary, a second-degree felony punishable by two to eight years in prison. His bond was set at $50,000. Smith also was charged with possession of drug abuse instruments.

"He was at the (Harkness Street) premises when they did the search," Norwalk Law Director Stuart O'Hara said.

Fulton, in a separate interview, said Smith and the other people who were staying there -- Devin S. Espinoza, 26; Mariha S. Estadt, 27; her boyfriend, Robert W. Stewart, 23; and Roger L. Mock, 31, -- are "all known heroin addicts." The detective said the suspects have been traveling to Cleveland to buy heroin.

Espinoza was charged with possession of heroin. Estadt and Stewart were charged with permitting drug abuse. The court set each of their bonds at $10,000. Mock, like Smith, was charged with possession of drug abuse instruments.

"None of them have very significant criminal histories," O'Hara said.

Stewart, in 2007, was convicted of gross sexual imposition and pandering obscenity through Ross County. He was sentenced to two years in prison. It's unclear if Stewart is on parole.

O'Hara was asked about the definition of permitting drug abuse.

"It means you're responsible if you let someone else come to your house and use drugs," he said.

Authorities haven't arrested or charged anyone else in connection with the ongoing investigation.

"As of right now, no one else has been charged. That's not to say nobody else (will be) once they're done with the investigation," O'Hara said.

Fulton said police are looking for more suspects in connection with the burglaries.

"There are at least two people who are involved in it," the detective said.

"It will be an ongoing investigation," Fulton added, with more drug- and theft-related arrests pending.

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