Cocaine defendant seeks help for 'definite addiction problem'

Cary Ashby • Apr 4, 2014 at 5:07 PM

A cocaine defendant who sought rehabilitation on her own was placed on three years of intensive probation Thursday.

Desiree M. Collins, 55, of 16 E. Main St., Apt. C (back), Wakeman, must reimburse the Huron County Sheriff's Office $40 for the cost of drug testing and was fined $250. She is subject to random drug screens and had her driver's license suspended for six months.

Collins also faces a 90-day jail sentence, which her probation officer has the discretion of scheduling or can ask the court to waive if she'd doing well on probation. She was credited with already serving 31 days in the Huron County Jail.

In mid-February, Collins pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine in exchange for prosecutors dismissing one count of tampering with evidence. Her accomplice, Barry Busek, 58, of the same address, made a similar plea agreement Feb. 25 and will be sentenced April 23. He is out on a $20,000 bond.

"I think she'd be a successful candidate for probation," Collins' defense attorney Reese Wineman said Thursday.

"Desiree has been very cooperative. She has a definite addiction problem she has pointed out to me," Wineman said. "Her mother died of a heroin overdose when she was very young. Her father was an alcoholic who was locked up."

Collins and Busek's convictions are for a July 27 traffic stop at the intersection of U.S. 20 and Ohio 60 just inside the Huron County line. The sheriff's office had received a tip the pair went to Lorain County to buy cocaine. Prosecutors have said deputies found about a half-gram of cocaine inside the vehicle and also seized a suspected crack pipe.

Due to Collins being convicted earlier of felony drug possession, she was eligible for a prison sentence. However, Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway said Collins successfully completed probation for that case in 2006. The judge also praised her for finding employment since her mid-February plea hearing and seeking substance abuse treatment.

If Collins violates the terms of her probation, she could be sent to a community-based corrections facility for four to six months or one year in prison. Defendants spend four to six months in a CBCF, a form of prison which focuses on education and substance abuse treatment.

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