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Suspected shoplifter pleads guilty to three drug felonies

Cary Ashby • Jan 14, 2014 at 9:07 AM

A former Norwalk woman who will be sentenced next month for three drug-related felonies is accused of shoplifting in Cuyahoga County.

Stephanie L. (Broz) Cleveland, 27, of Sandusky, pleaded guilty Monday to one count each of trafficking in Suboxone, possession of methadone and possession of heroin.

"The state will dismiss the balance of the indictment," Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler told the court.

As part of the plea deal, the state agreed to dismiss one count each of trafficking in Alprazalam and trafficking in Suboxone. The Norwalk Police Department investigated each of the five offenses.

At the time of Cleveland's Feb. 26 sentencing, Leffler said the state wouldn't be opposed to transitional control if the court gave the defendant a sentence longer than two years in prison. Transitional control could include four to six months in a community-based corrections facility or a halfway house. A CBCF is a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education.

On Nov. 21, 2012, Cleveland sold .1 gram of suboxone to someone for $60 and then on July 4, 2013, police found a small amount of methadone and heroin in her residence, Leffler said.

Cleveland faces six to 12 months on each of her three fifth-degree felonies. She is eligible for prison because she has a prior felony conviction.

On Dec. 16, Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway revoked Cleveland's $20,000 bond. He said Monday the decision was based on a motion from the county prosecutor's office and two reports of "theft-related crimes."

Defense attorney Reese Wineman told the court he has learned the Cuyahoga County charges will end up being misdemeanors.

When addressing bond, Leffler requested either Cleveland's bond remain revoked or be increased to $40,000.

Wineman said Cleveland's mother had offered to have her daughter live with her on house arrest. The mother declined to be interviewed after the hearing.

Conway said he didn't believe house arrest was a wise decision and made no changes to the defendant's revoked bond. That means Cleveland will remain in the Huron County Jail until her sentencing hearing.

In late September 2008, Cleveland was sentenced to three years in prison for trafficking in heroin. She forfeited her 2001 Honda Accord to the state. Cleveland was arrested June 5, 2008 after she went to Columbus and bought 41 balloons, or doses, of heroin and as she returned to Huron County, she called various people to make delivery arrangements.

She was arrested during a Benedict Avenue traffic stop when her then-infant son was in the car. The boy, who was 2 months old at the time, was placed with Huron County Children Services and later, his paternal grandmother.

Cleveland's father and stepmother now have custody of both of her children.

"I learned a lot in prison about myself. I'll take that and move on," Cleveland said in 2010. "Any extra help I'm grateful for. ... What was supposed to happen happened."

In June 2010, Conway released her from prison into a CBCF. The judge complimented her for "doing very well with your time in prison" and completing "a good number of programs."

Cleveland's latest charges are the result of a secret indictment issued in November.

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