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Drug defendant guilty

Cary Ashby • Jun 20, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Two drug defendants who were arrested during a three-county drug sweep were in court this week.

Justin J. Palumbo, 19, of 233 Hartland Drive, Bellevue, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of trafficking in hydrocodone. The fifth-degree felony, which is punishable by six to 12 months behind bars, is for a Nov. 26 transaction involving a confidential informant used by the Huron County Sheriff's Office.

Palumbo sold .6 grams of hydrocodone to the informant, Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff said. The Ohio Bureau of Investigation later analyzed the drugs and confirmed it was hydrocodone.

As part of a plea deal, the state agreed to dismiss two counts of trafficking in oxycodone, in connection with Dec. 11 and 17 incidents.

Palumbo will be sentenced July 31.

In another hearing Monday in Huron County Common Pleas Court, Troy A. Snezek, 26, of 975 Monroe St., Apt. 123, Bellevue, appeared for a pre-trial hearing. He is charged with one count of trafficking in oxycodone. Woodruff expects Snezek's July 11 trial to last one or two days.

Snezek and Palumbo were arrested April 17 during "Operation: Crystal Clear," when 15 suspects were taken into custody -- all on some form of drug-related charges.

Deputies, along with a number of other law-enforcement officials, combed three counties to arrest the defendants on secret indictments. Assisting the sheriff's office included deputies from Erie, Richland and Sandusky counties, along with members of the Bellevue, Clyde, Fremont, Monroeville, New London, Plymouth and Willard police departments.

Snezek and Palumbo are subject to random drug screens. They are out on personal recognizance bonds, meaning they signed a court document and promised to appear on their own for their next hearings.

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