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Last of meth trio pleads guilty

Cary Ashby • Oct 16, 2013 at 10:07 PM

A local man was convicted Tuesday of allowing his toddler-age child to be in the Norwalk apartment when his co-defendants were making methamphetamine.

Allen E. Mobberly, 33, pleaded guilty to attempted child endangering and possession of meth. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a third felony charge of permitting drug abuse.

Mobberly and his 3-year-old child were in a Bouscay Avenue apartment March 29 when the Norwalk Police Department used a search warrant about an active meth lab there, Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff said.

Officers, while using the warrant, patted down Mobberly and found a straw with meth-related residue on it, Woodruff said.

Mobberly's two accomplices, James J. Arthur II, 29, of New Haven, and Mansfield resident Paul D. Prince, 34, are serving a seven-year prison term each for their roles. Each of the defendants earlier pleaded guilty to manufacturing meth while Prince also was convicted of one count each of possession of meth and possession of criminal tools.

"They were manufacturing meth there and he (Mobberly) was there with his child," Woodruff said, referring to the apartment. "It was not his apartment. It was somebody else's."

Early in the investigation, police identified Mobberly as the father of a boy who was there when the March 29 fire started and being "the person who had control of the apartment where the methamphetamine was being manufactured."

Authorities found the active meth lab when they raided the apartment with the warrant. A fire started during the incident and Norwalk firefighters -- who were called to the area to be on standby prior to the raid -- quickly extinguished it.

Police have said Prince, when fleeing the upstairs bedroom, admitted to knocking over some of the meth-related byproducts, which started the fire, which was contained to the bedroom. The contents in the room were a total loss.

Mobberly faces six to 18 months behind bars for attempted child endangering, a fourth-degree felony. Possession of methamphetamine, a fifth-degree felony, is punishable by six to 12 months.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway said the "most likely result" is Mobberly will face some sort of community control sanction since he doesn't have a prior felony conviction. Defendants convicted of fourth- and fifth-degree felonies can't be sentenced to prison if they don't have an earlier felony conviction.

Mobberly, who will be sentenced Nov. 27, is out on bond.

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