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Heroin defendant 'has spent decades in prison'

Cary Ashby • Jan 11, 2014 at 6:07 AM

A drug defendant who is on parole through another county was arraigned on multiple local felonies Wednesday.

Former Willard resident Matthew Sweet Sr., 56, entered "not guilty" pleas to five charges in Huron County Common Pleas Court.

He faces three counts of trafficking in heroin in connection with incidents on Aug. 21, 23 and Sept. 3. He also is charged with possession of heroin and tampering with evidence, both stemming from a Sept. 9 offense.

Sweet, who reports being homeless, told Judge Jim Conway he has multiple felony convictions. He is on parole through Richland County Common Pleas Court, but he didn't indicate what his underlying conviction is.

"The defendant has a rather extensive criminal history," Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said. "I think he has spent decades in prison."

Leffler also said authorities had received information that Sweet reportedly has been providing multiple people with drugs in the Huron County Jail.

Sweet is charged with one count of illegal conveyance of drugs in connection with an incident Saturday, according to Norwalk Municipal Court records. If convicted of the third-degree felony, he faces nine months to three years in prison. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

His trial date on the other five felonies is April 1. Sweet must post a $20,000 bond before being released from jail.

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