Driver admits to smoking pills in stopped car

Cary Ashby • Dec 21, 2012 at 3:08 PM

A detective who followed a suspiciously parked car into Willard arrested the driver on a felony drug charge.

Huron County Sheriff's Detective Josh Querin was on patrol about 3:35 p.m. Tuesday on Thomas Road near Ohio 162 in Norwich Township when he spotted a Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the middle of the road.

"I could see at least two occupants in the vehicle. The hazards weren't on," Querin said.

The detective said the car didn't appeared to be disabled, so he watched it for a few minutes.

Eventually, the driver pulled away. Querin later identified the driver as James F. Barnett Jr., 26, of 208 1/2 Park Ave., Willard.

As Querin followed the car, he saw someone threw some objects out of the window. He said Barnett later admitted to throwing aluminum foil on which he smoked Percocet pills.

"They continued driving around country roads and eventually ended up in Willard. That was when I had Willard (police) stop them," Querin said.

In the car with Barnett was a Willard woman in her early 20s. She hasn't been charged, but Barnett was charged with tampering with drugs. If convicted of the third-degree felony, he faces one to five years in prison.

"We interviewed Mr. Barnett," who reportedly admitted to smoking the pills in the car, Querin said.

The suspect appeared to be intoxicated at the sheriff's office, so Querin said deputies had Barnett submit a urine sample.

"We probably won't know the results for a couple weeks. We expect it to show he had oxycodone in his system, which he doesn't have a prescription for," Querin said. "Oxycodone is an ingredient in Percocet."

Barnett was arrested and taken to the Huron County Jail.

Querin was asked how often he's heard of someone smoking Percocet pills.

"We're seeing it more often," the detective said.

Police seized 18 strips of Suboxen, which is used to wean people of using heroin, as evidence.

"That's a schedule III narcotic," Querin said.

Also seized as evidence was $108 in cash and the car.

"We plan on filing for a forfeiture if (Barnett) is indicted by the grand jury," Querin said.

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