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Drug convict gets second chance in Teen Challenge

Cary Ashby • Aug 22, 2013 at 9:07 PM

A New London drug convict who had been kicked out of an intense, Christian-based substance abuse treatment program is getting a second chance with Teen Challenge.

Clayton A. Richardson, 29, pleaded guilty to contraband into a detention facility in early December 2009. In exchange, the state dismissed one count of possession of heroin.

During Monday's hearing, Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway said Richardson was kicked out of Teen Challenge at one point, but officials recently indicated they were "willing to take him back." The judge ruled another hearing about a suspected probation violation would be postponed to see if the defendant could complete "at least" six months of the program and if that happened, the state would withdraw the complaint.

"It's a very good program," Conway told Richardson and wished him luck.

Richardson put five balloons, or doses, of heroin, in his body in order to avoid being prosecuted for drug possession, Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said earlier. Corrections officers caught the prisoner with the drugs in the jail March 30, 2009.

The defendant was placed on five years of probation in January 2010.

In early August 2012, Richardson admitted there was probable cause he violated his probation -- his third suspected violation at the time. A prosecutor has said one of the allegations was the defendant tested positive for opiates.

Richardson will remain in jail until he's transported to the Teen Challenge facility in Youngstown.

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