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Heroin defendant gets jail time

Cary Ashby • Jan 28, 2014 at 9:07 AM

A heroin addict will be unsuccessfully kicked off probation after serving a 30-day jail sentence for violating the terms of her community control sanctions.

Sarah J. Schnell, 25, of 69 Harris St., admitted to using heroin Dec. 24 and tested positive later for drug usage. Also, on Dec. 14, she failed to follow the written order of her probation officer and associated with a male subject.

In late May 2011, Schnell pleaded guilty to possession of heroin in exchange for the state dismissing one count of trafficking in heroin. She was placed on three years of probation in early July 2011.

Schnell completed a community-based corrections facility program in November 2011 and later underwent "continuing care" through Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services. A CBCF is a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education.

By September 2012, probation officers dropped Schnell down to basic probation.

Probation officer Jim Zappa told the court Monday that about a year later, the defendant showed signs of drug use and said her heroin problem eventually "gained ground on her."

Then on Dec. 24, Zappa said Schnell told him her heroin addiction was more than she could handle and the only way she could remain sober was to be jailed.

"She was placed in custody and that's what brings her to court today," Zappa told Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway.

Schnell and her accomplice were arrested Jan. 3, 2011 after a two-week investigation by Norwalk Police Detective Sgt. Jim Fulton. He has said the other woman, former Norwalk resident Joellie R. Welch, now 41, was out of prison for about three weeks when police received reports "right away" of her being involved in selling heroin and detectives later made some controlled buys off Welch.

In late June 2011, Welch was sentenced to 11 months in prison for trafficking in heroin. She also forfeited her 1997 Mercury Tracer.

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