Marijuana dealer gets 6 months in jail for probation violation

Cary Ashby • Apr 7, 2014 at 11:20 PM

An Erie County man convicted of selling marijuana was sentenced Monday to six months in jail for violating his probation.

James A. Speer, 29, of Castalia, will be terminated from local probation after he serves 180 days in the Huron County Jail on the work release program. The sentence started Monday.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway warned the defendant he needs to stay "substance free" until he completes the term or he faces time in a locked-down treatment facility or prison.

Speer, at Monday's hearing, admitted to being convicted Feb. 3 of theft through Norwalk Municipal Court and testing positive for THC and oxycodone at jail March 1.

Probation officer Dexter Chandler gave a rundown of Speer's time under community control sanctions at Monday's hearing. Chandler said the defendant had seven positive drug screens since being sentenced to three years of probation in late September 2011.

In April 2013, Speer was convicted of receiving stolen property for a Perkins Township shoplifting incident.

Speer has a pending case in connection with taking a bicycle rack from the Strikenfadden Park in Perkins Township on Feb. 28, Chandler said. The defendant is charged with theft, receiving stolen property and criminal trespassing. Chandler said Speer reported to the local jail the next day for a child support-related warrant and that was when he tested positive for using marijuana and opiates.

Chandler told the judge he spoke with Speer many times over the years about his drug usage, but believes he's done as much as can do for him. After Monday's hearing, the probation officer warned Speer multiple times about the consequences of drinking or having a positive drug screen while he's on the work release program. Speer will work at his father's landscaping company.

Speer's underlying conviction is one count of trafficking in marijuana for a Feb. 5, 2011 incident.

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