Norwalk man pleads guilty to separate tampering, cocaine felonies
Feb 20, 2014 at 5:47 PM
A Norwalk man will be sentenced in April on separate convictions of attempted tampering with evidence and trafficking in cocaine.
Gregory A. Meade, 27, most recently of 117 N. West St., pleaded guilty to the two felonies Tuesday in Huron County Common Pleas Court.
"The state has agreed at the time of sentence (April 10) to recommend a shipment to the penitentiary" and then have Meade sent to a community-based corrections facility, Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said.
Defendants spend four to six months in a CBCF, a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education. Meade would be transferred to the in-house treatment facility after being released early from prison.
Huron County Public Defender David Longo expanded on the details of Tuesday's plea deal. He said the state has agreed not pursue charges against Meade in connection with being the "middle man" in a drug-trafficking case in which the substance turned out not to be illegal or a separate theft of checks case. However, the state will be pursuing restitution in the checks case.
"It appears he was not out on (felony) bond for the second offense," said Leffler, but added that Meade is on probation for four misdemeanor cases filed through Norwalk Municipal Court.
Also, the state agreed to dismiss one count of possession of heroin.
The tampering case relates to a July traffic stop by the Norwalk Police Department.
Meade "got into a little bit of a jam" related to heroin, stole some checks, cashed them in Lorain and then drove to Cleveland to buy heroin. During the traffic stop, Meade tried to hide and smash some hypodermic needles, Leffler said.
"He was unsuccessful in that. Police were able to see him do that," the prosecutor added about the needles.
The cocaine conviction is for a Dec. 18 controlled drug buy. Leffler said police recovered the cash used in the transaction at the residence of Meade's stepfather.
"He has been cooperative with the police on these matters," Leffler told Judge Jim Conway.
Longo, when discussing his client's bond, said Meade has tested clean while he has been out. The public defender also said the defendant hopes to participate in an out-patient program.
Meade has been unable to post a $5,000 bond and remains in custody at the Huron County Jail.