Heroin dealer says he was 'love struck' while dating felon

'I thought I was being loved back; that wasn't the case,' defendant tells judge, while also admitting he smoked marijuana on New Year's Eve 'just as the ball dropped.'
Cary Ashby
Mar 19, 2013


The drug defendant said he was "love struck" when he was dating a felon for about a year.

"I was in love. I thought I was being loved back; that wasn't the case," James M. Baker told Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway. "It won't happen again."

Associating with a known felon was one of several probation violations Baker, 32, formerly of New London, addressed Monday in court.

His attorney, Huron County Public Defender David Longo, said "other people" apparently knew Baker's now ex-girlfriend had a felony conviction, but Baker didn't find out until later.

"Apparently it came up later," Longo said.

Baker admitted to the judge he had what appeared to be two bad months -- a reference to the probation violation complaints -- but said testing positive for marijuana during a Jan. 7 drug screen "was the first time I failed a drug test in 14 months."

The Tiffin resident said he smoked one joint on New Year's Eve "just as the ball dropped."

Another complaint involved a Jan. 30 conviction through Tiffin Municipal Court. He violated a protection order when Baker was at the female victim's residence.

"Nobody got hurt," said Longo, who explained that Baker "fell for" the woman telling him she had dropped a civil protection order. "There's no allegation he laid a finger on her in anger."

The judge asked Baker, who claimed to have a laborer job waiting for him, what would keep him from appearing in court for another probation violation.

"My job," the defendant said. "I'm done with drugs."

Conway requested Longo obtain information on his client's possible employment for him to study before making a ruling. Baker will be held in the Huron County Jail without bond until his next hearing, on Monday.

In late February 2011, Baker was sentenced to 90 days in jail on the work release program for a trafficking in heroin conviction. He also was fined $500 and ordered to pay $40 in restitution to the Huron County Sheriff's Office to cover the costs of drug testing as part of his three years of intensively supervised probation.

Then in June of that same year, Baker pleaded guilty to three counts of trafficking in cocaine. He was fined $250 in July 2011 and ordered to spend four to six months in a community-based corrections facility (CBCF), a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education. Baker successfully completed the CBCF program.


swiss family

oh you say you were "Love struck"???? get ready to be handed your "get out of jail, free" Pass...

David Deerest.

I'll bet Dick Clark is spinning in his grave...smoking weed to the ball dropping. How dare he.


Lets see if this works as good as "I'm super sorry!"


Wow!! If this is the worst thing he has done while on probation then I would say he's doing pretty good. Other people do alot worse, over & over again on probation and Conway just slaps them on the hand. he picks and chooses, there is nothing consistent with this judge, and he needs removed from the bench.

Kottage Kat

A new excuse to add to the list


It's the "Cupid made me do it" defense.


Im seeing more and more Huron Counties drug treatment programs are just not working. When is the judge going to wake up and see this? I hope someone runs against this guy very soon and has a better view of common sense


First, the Drug programs are not working well anywhere - not limited to huron county.
Second, no one ran against Judge Conway and consequently he starts a new 6 year term in May.


Another SIX YEARS of wrist slapping? Heaven help us!


If he was arrested for heroin, and the only thing hes done in 14 months is celebrate with a johnny, then maybe they work a little


It might be wise to look at the prosecutor (in addition to the Judge). No one has run against him either. While the Judge does give the sentence, it OUR FEARLESS prosecutor who makes these 'wrist slapping' 'drug treatment program' 'He/she is really, really sorry' RECOMMENDATIONS to the Judge.
Granted, it is the Judge's decision ultimately, but I really wonder HOW much information is NOT PRESENTED at the time of sentencing....

Kottage Kat

4 to 6 more years
Hang in there


This is quality reporting? Deplorable journalistic reporting.


Couldn't agree more. This reporting is just terrible. What else you going to expect from Ashby


So, um... "love struck" is the new term for horny, right?

Sitting In The ...

In late February 2011, Baker was sentenced to 90 days in jail on the work release program for a trafficking in heroin conviction. Then in June of that same year, Baker pleaded guilty to three counts of trafficking in cocaine. So I guess we'll see him about what July then?

Lillie Chaos

Judge Conway seems to try to do his part with encouragement and support and understanding for these dopers. They get every break they can as long as the judge thinks they are attempting to get their life together. How many success stories out there? Seems like we are seeing more and more cases everyday. It is not Willard constantly anymore. WPD got tougher and are out looking constantly 24/7 so it seems the dopers are moving north. Now hope Norwalk keeps pushing out of the county.

Brock Lee