Local heroin dealer given 2-year prison term

Cary Ashby • Mar 30, 2014 at 6:07 AM

A Willard man pleaded guilty to two drug charges Friday and was sentenced at the same hearing to two years in prison.

Matthew Sweet Sr., 56, most recently of 423 1/2 Euclid St., was convicted of two counts of trafficking in heroin in Huron County Common Pleas Court. The two-year prison term was a joint recommendation between Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff and defense attorney Curtis Koch.

As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dismissed one count each of trafficking in heroin, possession of heroin and tampering with evidence, all in connection with a Sept. 3 incident. Woodruff said the state also agreed not pursue a pending conveyance charge.

Sweet's convictions are for controlled drug transactions, both of which involved a confidential informant. Woodruff said the defendant sold .1 grams of heroin during each of the Aug. 21 and 23 incidents.

"Matthew Sweet was a significant heroin trafficker and user in the Willard area," Huron County Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Josh Querin said after the defendant was arrested Sept. 9.

Members of the sheriff's office, Willard and Monroeville police departments used a no-knock search warrant in the 700 block of Park Street in Willard. Officers used a "flash-bang" distraction device which created a loud noise outside the residence for their safety.

Authorities seized heroin, 24 suspected ecstasy pills, crack cocaine pipes, numerous syringes and $641 in cash at the scene. Sheriff Dane Howard found Sweet hiding behind a shelving unit.

"Matthew Sweet was also on parole from when authorities executed a 2012 search warrant for heroin at the house," Querin said. "He was convicted on that charge and ordered to start treatment which would have begun (about Sept. 11). That was a program to help him with his addiction."

Sweet is on post-release control. Woodruff said he doesn't know how much time on parole the defendant has hanging over his head, but he told Judge Jim Conway the state will leave it up to prison and/or parole authorities if Sweet will face any additional prison time for the parole violation.

The judged ordered the defendant to forfeit the $641 seized at the time of his arrest and suspended his driver's license for six months.

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