Resident, sheriff's office talk more about warrant

Cary Ashby • Apr 14, 2014 at 9:07 AM

A Norwalk man didn't receive a copy of the search warrant used during a highly contested drug-related incident at his apartment.

John Collins showed the Reflector one sheet of paper Wednesday. The document is an inventory only listing "two glass marijuana pipes." The inventory is part of a recently unsealed search warrant at the young man's apartment at 114 1/2 Benedict Ave. The Huron County Sheriff's Office used the warrant at 8:39 p.m. March 25.

"That's the only thing they left me," Collins said about the inventory sheet.

Chief Deputy Ted Patrick said it's accurate Collins only received a copy of the inventory because the warrant only should be delivered to the person listed inside -- 41-year-old Robert L. Hendricks. The sheriff's spokesman said Hendricks will be served with a copy of the search warrant once deputies interview him.

"Our deputies are contending he (Hendricks) was staying there," Patrick said, referring to Collins' residence. "He's still a person of interest in the case."

Collins reportedly hadn't seen the warrant until the Reflector shared it with him Wednesday. His name isn't mentioned in the document.

"I've never seen it until it came out (in the newspaper)," Collins said. "I didn't get a copy of the search warrant."

Collins doesn't contest that deputies seized two marijuana pipes. He said the drug paraphernalia was on the corner of his coffee table.

What Collins doesn't agree with is the alleged presence of a drug suspect in his home whom he said he's only met once. Sheriff's officials have said the suspect, Hendricks, lives or was staying at Collins' apartment.

Photographic evidence

On Wednesday, Patrick reasserted what he'd said earlier -- that the sheriff's office has documentation of Hendricks being at Collins' apartment, which is one of three units which are linked together in one building.

"Our detectives have photographs of Hendricks coming and going from Collins' home," Patrick said.

Collins has a different story.

"He's never been in my house at all," Collins said. "I don't know him at all. I've known his name, but I don't hang out with him."

One photograph in the warrant, which was photocopied for the Reflector, is taken from the parking lot of Simply U Tanning, which is right beside the building in which Collins lives. The photograph shows someone standing at the front door of the man's apartment. Between the man and camera is a parked car.

Collins said the person in the photo is him, wearing a hat and carrying a plastic bag from Dave's Food Mart, which is on the same side of the street as his apartment. Collins said the person clearly isn't Hendricks.

"What they're doing is mistaking my identity for Rob," Collins said.

The Reflector requested the sheriff's office release the photographs in question.

"The photographs are part of the investigation of the case and aren't being released right now," Patrick said.

The sheriff's spokesman was asked if it's possible detectives could have confused Collins for Hendricks.

"That's not true," Patrick said. "Detective (Rich) Larson and Detective (Kayla) Zander know Hendricks. Both the detectives told me they know Hendricks and know what Hendricks looks like."

One of Collins' neighbors is Hendricks' mother, Patricia Papp. She and one of her sons, Timothy, have said Hendricks doesn't live with them and when he visits, he always comes to the back door of their home, 114 Benedict Ave.

Patricia Papp, 58, and another of her sons, Thomas, 34, were arrested on drug-related warrants March 25 after Collins told deputies they were his neighbors. Thomas M. 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. They were released on bond the day after their arrests on secret indictments.

One address vs. another

The warrant, written by Detective Larson, indicates deputies received an anonymous call March 18 in which the person said a man and woman were supposed to be leaving Peru Hollow Road and would come to 114 Benedict Ave. "to purchase heroin and Percocet pills from an individual identified as Rob Hendricks."

When Larson and Zander, another detective, drove by to get a description of the residence, Larson said they "both observed Robert Hendricks ... exit the residence of 114 1/2 Benedict Ave.," according to the warrant.

The warrant was unsealed April 4 in Huron County Juvenile Court. It lists the 114 1/2 Benedict Ave. address 14 times and 114 Benedict Ave. four times.

Sheriff Dane Howard has said the warrant clearly lists that deputies were seeking drug paraphernalia from Collins' apartment and "all the chatter and rumors" about going to the wrong residence simply aren't true.

"It's clear my detectives acted in accordance with the law and executed the search warrant (appropriately). The deputies acted properly and there was no misconduct and it's as simple as that," the sheriff said last week.

"I don't think that in my 30 years as a law-enforcement officer that anybody is happy about executing a search warrant and (officers) taking their drugs," Howard said.

Collins, who lives at 114 1/2 Benedict Ave., said Wednesday he's only met Hendricks once when the man was attempting to access the Internet about Feb. 26. Collins also said Hendricks doesn't live at his apartment -- the same information he gave during an earlier interview.

"He came over and got my Internet password. That's the only way I've talked to him," Collins said.

When asked about the man and woman mentioned in the warrant who reportedly bought drugs from Hendricks, Collins said he went to school with the man, but isn't his friend. Collins didn't recognize the woman's name. The suspects aren't being named because they haven't been charged.

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