Drug thief avoids jail time, says 'crime of opportunity' was an ignorant thing to do

Aunt of the late Jesika L. Skelton says she 'should have known better.'
Cary Ashby
Apr 25, 2013

The defendant said stealing hydrocodone from the pharmacy where she worked was an ignorant thing to do -- especially since her niece died of a drug overdose.

"This is not something I would normally do," Norma J. Zapata said at Wednesday's sentencing hearing in Huron County Common Pleas Court. "I should have known better and not gone down that route."

Judge Jim Conway agreed with her assessment.

"You don't know whose hands those drugs will get in. We can't have that," Conway said.

Zapata's niece, Norwalk resident Jesika L. Skelton, 20, died March 11, 2012 after a drug overdose related to a drug-trafficking ring at the Huron County Jail. Several women went to prison for their crimes related to the circumstances.

Last month, Zapata, 30, of 230 Whittlesey Ave., Lot 10, pleaded guilty to theft of hydrocodone for the Aug. 15 incident. It is her first felony conviction. Defense attorney T. Douglas Clifford said the theft was "a crime of opportunity" for Zapata to make money and help support her two children and her family.

When Zapata was working at Rite Aid, store officials determined they were missing some drugs, prosecutors said. Internal security workers performed an audit and analyzed video surveillance footage.

When police recovered one of the bottles, there were pills missing.

"She's presently working; that's a good sign. Perhaps the court could impose some discretionary jail time," Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff told the judge.

And that's exactly what Conway did.

Zapata faces 60 days in jail that her probation officer can impose at his or her discretion. She was fined $250 and must pay $279 in restitution to Rite Aid.

If Zapata violates her three years of probation, which includes random drug screens, she faces 18 months in prison.

Comments

Whopper2013

Big Surprise...Another Thief and Drug Dealer gets a slap on the wrist and her freedom. Also, what does it matter that she is the Aunt of Jesika Skelton? Except to show everyone where Jesika learned her skills

happyfeet64

A****le to make a comment like that-I hope Karma kicks your butt- I knew Jesika and I know the family and your comment was ignorant and unnecessary, Pendejo!

lugnut2511

What an ignorant comment. You like to judge, You just got judged as well. You don't when know this person. Typical ignorance * hope you don't children and yeah them to be like You *

arnmcrmn

Did you have a seizure when you were typing. Me don't understand this you typing now???????

Whopper2013

Read your own comment and tell me who is ignorant

john1128

blame government people are poor,and tv is loaded with take this pill,take that pill,It looks like there is a legal drug for everything.the whole problem is a lot more than morals.It's awsom that you crap talkers out thereare so blessed with such a perfect life.

Whopper2013

I have not had anything close to a perfect life. I know what it is like to be poor and struggle to pay my bills, but I have never once resorted to stealing, selling drugs, or anything on par with that kind of behavior. As for your opinion that everything else is to blame(tv, government)-well maybe you should join the public defender's office because that is the type of bleeding heart bullsh*t that has Norwalk crawling with drug dealers, informants, and other various scumbags

FlyBoy86

+1.

arnmcrmn

just keep making excuses john......excuses are a dime a dozen.

betrump

I'd be surprised if you could count that high.

vicariouslyAlive

i'd have to agree with whooper here... all too often in huron county do the thieves and drug abusers get off too easy... there really is an easy explanation though... most of the people released turn informant, in which case, they'd be better off in jail... that age old saying "snitches get stitches," will one day end up in a homicide and the game that the npd and huron sheriff's department will have that on their hands.

personally, it'd be better to throw them all into jail rather than turn them into narcs and have to shovel dead bodies. and judging by how many people get off on their theft / theft for drug offenses... norwalk is full snitches.

personally... dead or alive... doesn't matter... but letting them go free sets a bad example for the rest of the community.

john1128

I think the person was taught a lesson and she has never been arrested before in her life.so why waist money on jail when it does nothing for a person to sit in a room for years and then release them with years of setbacks and a record and no chance at a job,or at least a job worth going to.I know i have delt with workforce and trying to be employed and having no chance because i was out of my mind and caught a case years ago.Deep down im am one of the nicest people on earth but my prior mistakes in my life will not even let me make your french fries for you perfect people to eat at lunch every day.and i have special skills in communications electronics repair.now i have a mountain of student loans and no job to be had!

arnmcrmn

John, in all honesty. You might want to work on your English.....that may be a reason why you do not have a job. Just a very valid point. Not trying to be mean.

betrump

You might want to work on your common sense. Not trying to be mean, or anything. You're just, you know...a special kind of stupid.

Whopper2013

Sounds like Rite Aid might be hiring

swiss family

hahahahahahahahahahah good one

CorrectUrFacts

^LOL... u really feel like your comments are so clever dont you?? Haha.. U sound stupid and I'm bettin in person you wouldnt have the big brass ones to say anything to anyone's face. Ur a coward who feels powerful behind a fake screen name! Hope that comment got ur jolly's off... & U feel your better than norma?? LOL.. people like you are ignorant! U have prolly been raised with money & have never felt what it is like to fear ur children will go hungry or do without. Unless you know someone or their situation (& not just the one the reflector uses to try and get a big story out of) keep ur mouth shut! Now here is something for you to spell check and talk crap about to make ur sorry, worthless butt feel better about yourself!! Suck on this one!! Have a wonderful day now!! ;) #UrAjoke

arnmcrmn

So let me get this straight. You call someone out for sitting behind a computer behind a fake name. Isn't that what you just did yourself. Feel better now after that tantrum?

john1128

I personally know this person and her family and they are normal working people with good intensions for themselves and others.Their is love ,God,Feelings,and another generation of children that we are very protective of with the drug epidemic that has invaded everywhere the family even lost a loved one that didnt make it,Just remember ,we are all human and we all do make mistakes.And the felony on her record will,yes will effect her for the rest of her life.untill you have been in anothers shoes ,dont be so quick to judge. and putting all of the petty thefts and small amount drug users in jail will just caust tax dollers to keep going up and up and up and up.

ladydye_5

All of you that "know her" or "know the family" crying she is a good person, she just made a mistake. HOW would you feel if/when she steals FROM YOU??? How about when she sells those pills to YOUR kid? I am sick and tired of hearing everyone complain and cry that these "small time dealers/users" are of no harm to anyone. I will pay taxes, heck EXTRA taxes to keep DRUGGIES off the street. Yes, people make mistakes I understand that and I have made my own, BUT I have never been arrested for jailed for my mistakes. My mistakes do NOT require the POLICE to get involved. Drug dealers, drug users, pill pushers, weed smokers, it is all the same, IT IS ILLEGAL and they deserve to be in JAIL. "Good people" do not end up in jail or caught up in a drug sting/arrest. If you are so fond of these people and the druggie friends they have, let them LIVE with/by you. You sign the papers to be responsible for them when they get out. You can be responsible the NEXT time they are caught. (we all know the re-offenders in huron county are numerous)

OhioMommy87

Thank you for that. I am so sick of living in the apartments that we do. They are not bad apartments, probably the best ones in Norwalk but they are in a tri-plex and the a-holes deal their drugs out of these buildings and constantly have traffic in and out and I can't stand it! I am trying to keep my kids safe and while the landlord will get rid of them once they are caught, he is not doing background checks on these low-lifes. I'm so glad I am moving away soon. I don't want these druggies around my kids. We get rid of one and get another in their place.

CorrectUrFacts

JOHN i would just save ur time.. these people are prolly likew 50yr old hags with nothing to do but talk on norwalkreflectorbecuz its the only idiot proof & the only site they know how to use. Not to mention look at the times on the comments they seriously stay on here all day... they are a waste of time to argue with!! Save ur time they aint worth it... seriously! I <3 Bonnie! ;)

ladydye_5

Sorry I am NOT a 50 year old hag....my birthday is this weekend and I will be 39. And yes I do check on the site regularly, I am a stay at home mom. I will not waste my time arguing with you either, I do NOT care what you think of me. I just do NOT like druggies, drug dealers or THEIVES.

nosair2106

<3 U Clyde!!!

john1128

I actually have my employment figured out and trust me it has nothing to do with any business in the norwalk area thats for sure.the city is where felons have to find jobs these days,o thats right you already know that cuz you know so much.

FlyBoy86

Must not be a great employment opportunity as your linguistic skills are about as good as my two year old niece.

arnmcrmn

word

Whopper2013

So better to let them go and continue to steal and do drugs until they get high enough that they injure someone? Way to defend the scumbags!!

john1128

I do agree that she should be punnished but probation is going to change her,trust your po's thats what there for.The po's in Norwalk do a great job considering there workload! Let the system get it in gear ,they know what there doing.

john1128

there is proof that they are making headway everyday in the paper or we would not be talking about it now.Im just saying that the girl made a mistake and if you ever really knew her you would think she is a sweetheart.And trust me she is feeling the reprocussions just from being humilliated mentally.she is was and always will be a good hearted person in my book,reguardless of what the world thinks. Peace to all and to all a good night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pages