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Wrong place raided? Not so, says sheriff's spokesman

Cary Ashby • Mar 28, 2014 at 9:37 PM

Rumors about authorities using a warrant at the wrong Norwalk residence are untrue, a sheriff's spokesman said Thursday.

"It's highly inaccurate. It's not factual," Huron County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Ted Patrick told the Reflector.

"We stand behind what we did. I stand behind what our men and women did," he added.

Patrick broke down the sequence of events that happened in the 100 block of Benedict Avenue just after 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Deputies went to 114 1/2 Benedict Ave. to use a drug-related search warrant. Patrick said officers didn't arrest the male suspect they were seeking, but they used the warrant and seized evidence that will be tested by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

"We still haven't found the guy," he added.

While deputies were at the triplex, Patrick said the sheriff's office received a tip that a male suspect who lives nearby was wanted on a felony warrant.

"We did a knock-and-talk. We were invited into the home," he said. "We located two people in there who were wanted on two felony warrants. They were secret indictments."

Thomas M. Papp, 34, and his mother, Patricia Papp, 58, both of 114 Benedict Ave., were arrested.

"Mr. Papp gave himself up," Patrick said.

Thomas Papp is charged with trafficking in oxycodone in connection with a Sept. 9, 2012 incident. His mother faces a similar felony stemming from a July 8, 2012 offense.

Each defendant entered "not guilty" to their respective charges Wednesday. Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway scheduled separate trial dates and released them on personal recognizance bonds. That means the defendants signed a court document promising they would appear at future hearings and didn't have to pay any money.

Before deputies used the warrant, they notified the Norwalk Police Department they would be in Norwalk.

Patrick said the sheriff's office notified police about 30 minutes beforehand.

"I believe their detectives were notified a day in advance," he added. "We try to involve them as much as we can."

Police Chief Dave Light and Capt. Mike Conney confirmed the sheriff's office gave their department a heads-up.

"We weren't involved in that at all," Conney said, referring to the warrant arrests. "None of our people were there."

Conney said it's common courtesy for a law-enforcement agency to notify police if they are doing something like using a warrant or making an arrest in Norwalk. He stressed it's done for "officer safety and the safety of residents."

"You have to know what's going on," Conney added.

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