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Cocaine co-defendants plead innocent

Cary Ashby • Feb 11, 2014 at 9:07 PM

A pair of men arrested in connection with the same suspected cocaine case pleaded "not guilty" to their charges last week.

Ruben R. Garcia, 47, of 2 Harris Ave., is charged with one count each of complicity to trafficking in cocaine and possession of cocaine. Both of the fifth-degree felonies are in connection with a Dec. 18 incident.

"They just gave it to me (Tuesday) night," Garcia told Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway, referring to his warrant.

A Huron County grand jury issued a secret indictment against Garcia on Jan. 31. Authorities issue secret indictments if they suspect the defendant might flee.

Garcia's suspected accomplice, Gregory A. Meade, 26, of 117 N. West St., is charged with trafficking in cocaine.

At 3:37 p.m. Tuesday, Norwalk Police Capt. Dave Smith responded to a Bouscay Avenue apartment, where Detective Sgt. Jim Fulton had Meade in custody on the warrant, according to a police report.

"They let me out of jail Friday," Meade told the judge about a different charge.

"The re-arrested me Tuesday. ... I was only out of jail three days," Meade added.

Huron County Public Defender David Longo, in discussing Meade's bond, said his office is representing Meade on a pending felony charge and when he couldn't post a $5,000 bond with a 10-percent provision, the court had released him on a personal recognizance bond. That means Meade signed a court document in which he promised to appear for future hearings without having to pay any money.

While Meade said they don't have any prior felony convictions and isn't on probation now, he said he was convicted of assaulting a police officer when he was a juvenile.

Meade, whose trial date is March 13, must post a $5,000 bond before being released from the Huron County Jail. Garcia is being held on a $5,000 bond with a 10-percent provision. His trial is set for April 22.

Each defendant is subject to random drug screens.

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