A Willard man was sentenced to 18 months in prison Friday for painting a stolen all-terrain vehicle (ATV).
Phillip J. Faulkner, 22, of 144 S. Ohio 99, pleaded guilty Friday to tampering with evidence. As part of a plea deal, the state agreed to dismiss one count of breaking and entering in connection with a Sept. 26 incident.
Huron County Assistant Richard Woodruff and defense attorney Kenneth Lewis jointly recommended an 18-month prison. The attorneys recommended that after Faulkner serves 60 days, he would be released early into a community-based corrections facility (CBCF). Defendants spend four to six months in a CBCF, a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education.
Also, Woodruff said the state "agrees not to pursue any new possession of heroin charges."
The possible heroin case stemmed from a traffic stop about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at the U.S. 250 bypass. Huron County Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Josh Querin has said deputies seized "a significant amount of heroin paraphernalia," including spoons and syringes with suspected heroin residue, after his police dog indicated on the truck during a sweep.
Faulkner and his pregnant girlfriend were arrested after Querin and another detective followed the vehicle from the Snyder Road area near Monroeville. Querin said he and Detective John Harris first saw Faulkner, the passenger, "hunched over" in the front seat.
"They were stopped for a marked lanes violation," Querin said. "We were told (Faulkner's) been carrying a firearm with him recently."
Faulkner admitted to using heroin that morning, Querin said.
The tampering with evidence conviction relates to a yellow ATV which was stolen from an Ohio 162 residence in rural Monroeville. Woodruff has said Faulkner was found in possession of the ATV and had painted it black.
Deputies responded to the home of Faulkner's parents Sept. 26 because Faulkner had reactions from a possible drug overdose.
"When we got there, he had fled on foot," Querin said soon afterward. "We were very concerned for his welfare and safety because his parents said he was suicidal."
Querin and three deputies eventually found Faulkner hiding in a camper on Bauman Road in Greenfield Township. The officers also recovered the ATV in a ravine east of the Faulkner residence and another ATV suspected of being stolen from Shelby.