Drug defendant to remain behind bars until merits hearing

Aaron Krause • Jun 22, 2014 at 10:07 AM

A drug defendant will remain in jail without bond until her 2:30 p.m. July 21 merits hearing.

A merits hearing's purpose is to allow the defendant to admit or deny the allegations of a probation violation.

Huron County Public Defender David Longo requested the probation department determine whether Elizabeth A. Lee, 27, of Lorain, could return to a Community Based Corrections Facility. Such a facility is a form of prison that focuses on substance abuse treatment and education.

In January, Lee was placed on three years of intensive probation.

Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Daivia Kasper has said Lee was kicked out of Lorain County Alcohol and Drug Abuse, an intensive, out-patient program. Her stay was terminated due to attendance issues and reportedly testing positive for opiates.

Huron County Public Defender David Longo said his client had excuses for missing only two LCADA appointments and Lee reported she had a Vicodin prescription for a migraine. When probation officer Jim Zappa was asked about the prescription, he said he was he was unaware of it, but said Lee told him she took the Vicodin for a fall-related accident.

Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Daivia Kasper requested Lee be held without bond until her merits hearing, noting she tested positive for a type of opiate while at the Lorain center.

Huron County Public Defender David Longo didn't object. He said it "seems likely" that her best chance at returning to the Lorain treatment center is to remain in jail in the interim.

Lee is charged with possession of heroin in connection with a June 25 traffic stop. Detectives had arranged a controlled drug buy in which a confidential informant was supposed to buy heroin.

"As the confidential informant returned to the area -- to Wakeman, the Wakeman Police Department stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation," Kasper said in January. "Elizabeth Lee was a passenger in the vehicle. She stepped out. She was cooperative with officers."

Lee turned over a pack of cigarettes, which she said was hers. A lab analysis of material in the pack determined it was .1 gram of heroin.

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