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Attorney: Morphine dealer wants to keep 'positive momentum'

Cary Ashby • May 10, 2014 at 6:07 AM

"I know I've hurt myself, my friends and my family."

Convicted morphine dealer Eber J. Overly, however, told the judge he's "really sticking to" his treating his addiction.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway told Overly he applauded him "for tackling that on your own."

The 35-year-old New London man started a substance abuse treatment facility March 25 and was successfully discharged April 22. Overly also has been attending four to five AA meetings each week.

Defense attorney James Mayer III said his client has been recommended for the after-care program at Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services and would be working with its counselors for four to six months. Mayer said Overly wants to "continue with the positive momentum" he has had with his treatment.

"His entire family is very happy with the effort he's made," the attorney added.

"Apparently he's doing quite well and on the right track," Huron County Prosecutor Richard Woodruff said.

Overly was placed on three years of basic probation Wednesday.

The defendant had his driver's license suspended for six months, but can have driving privileges for treatment, probation office visits and employment. He was fined $250 and must reimburse the Huron County Sheriff's Office $105 to cover the cost of lab testing. His probation officer has the discretion of when to start a 90-day jail sentence or can ask the judge to waive it if Overly does well on probation.

If Overly violates the terms of his probation, he faces 18 months in prison.

In early March, Overly pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in morphine. The conviction is a July 31 controlled drug buy. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dismissed two similar charges in connection with incidents on Aug. 1 and 2.

Conway said the defendant was eligible for a prison term because he had a prior felony conviction for attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. The Norwalk Police Department investigated the Dec. 31, 2002 offense.

On Nov. 19, 2003, the former Norwalk and Monroeville resident was sentenced to 90 days in the Huron County Jail and placed on five years of intensive probation. Overly was classified as a sexually-oriented offender and had to register his address annually for 10 years. He also was ordered to pay about $1,579 in court costs and restitution.

Almost five years to the day of his sentencing hearing, the court ruled Overly was "unsuccessfully discharged from probation" and had his civil rights restored, according to court records.

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