Heroin dealer sent to prison after $60 sale

Defense attorney says client will seek early release in hopes of getting into Christian-based substance abuse treatment program.
Cary Ashby
Aug 22, 2013


An area man was sentenced to one year in prison Monday for selling heroin for $60.

Portsmouth resident Lance Signs, 36, received a 10-month term for trafficking in heroin. Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway also imposed an additional two months for a post-release control violation.

Signs had about 176 days remaining on his post-release time for a local breaking-and-entering conviction.

Huron County Public Defender David Longo said Monday his client intends to file for early release with the hopes of being accepted into Teen Challenge. The Christian-based substance abuse treatment program is based in Youngstown. Conway said he would give the motion "some consideration" -- but no sooner than six months from the time Signs enters prison.

In mid-June 2012, the defendant was sentenced to 11 months in prison for a May 26, 2011 break-in at the office at Norwalk Waste Material. Signs served the term at the same time as a sentence for an Erie County drug conviction.

In late June, a Huron County grand jury issued a secret indictment against Signs on trafficking in heroin.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said a confidential informant spoke to Signs on March 19 and the defendant "produced" .07 grams of heroin for $60. The Norwalk Police Department coordinated the controlled drug buy.

"I think in this case (Signs) was feeding a habit," said Longo, who referred to his client as the "middle man" in the buy.

Leffler credited Signs with being intelligent, but said he's "chosen to go down this path over and over."

In addition to his prison term, the defendant must reimburse police $40 for the cost of drug testing. His driver's license also was suspended for six months.

After Monday's hearing, Signs told the Reflector he wanted to apologize to his family for the embarrassment he caused.



should have sold it for $59.99

Yall Make Me Sick

Teen challenge? Really. Dude you're an adult 36 years old.... It's way past time to grow up. You knew right from wrong. It's called jail/prison it's time to do the time for your crime.




Wont be an article,do not want the people he will snitch on knowing he was arrested. My best advice to the youth of Norwalk and "Heroin County" Leave it for better pastures. Norwalk is becoming full of back stabbing snitches who wont accept the consequence of their actions and rat out all! The best advice is dont do dope!!!


Just tell them you have "health issues" that way they let ya out early.


Leffler credited Signs with being intelligent, but said he's "chosen to go down this path over and over." So he has done this before, been in prison before, but NOW is ready to find GOD and go to rehab? Jesus is going to help him get clean? Right, we all now how well that works out for most. 1/100 go head take a spin.


Christians,they are still allowed in this country.I thought The DNC got rid of God and Christians at their convention.

Scranton Tibbs

Burglary, drug addiciton, dealing drugs. Mr. Signs doesn't need a Christian based drug treatment program, he needs to sit in jail with all the other losers who can't follow the rules.


He has spent probably 8 out of the last 10 years in prison.....he's NOT going to change!!!


But he's ready to find god and change.


Man, he sure looks different than he did in high school! Once they get to a certain point, they all start to look alike, it seems.


He probably could use the "health issues" excuse.....he looks like he's about to keel over from AIDS!!!!




Lovely, another waste of space and tax dollars. Well if I ever decide to be a dopehead, I know what to expect.....


First of all teen challenge was not created for kids. I am not sure why the great late Dave Wilkerson choose to name it "teen challenge." In the begging he changed the lives of younger gang members and prostitutes in Brooklyn. The program is credited for saving millions of lives world wide and has the highest success rate for addiction recovery in the country. If the program is completed thew addictive has a 50% chance of staying clean and becoming a productive citizen and a believer in Jesus. Conventional rehabs are around 4 %. You do the math. Jail is a school in criminal a activity. You go in with a high school diploma in crime and come out with a Phd on how to commit more crimes and not get caught. No rehabilitation, no help for addicts and physical and social disorders. Its a joke. Not saying this young man can change but tern challenge is his best shot. A 18 mth intense program that focuses on becoming a man. You go to church daily and twice on Sunday. You work everyday for free, to build discipline and ethic. You do charity work for your community and have a intence school and academic program that 2nd to none. They have strict rules and strict punishment. Listen or go dig a hole, or shovel mulvh for 8 hrs and i bet your attitude changes. There are 60 year olds thru 18 year Ole's struggling on living life on lives terms. Not everyone is on drugs. Some have sex issues or are unfaithful, lazy, untrustworthy, and this program will change their life forever even if they don't get out and become a Bible thumper they will be a better man.


Stupid auto correct..... sorry for the Spelling

Scranton Tibbs

I think teen challenge is a great idea for this guy. Hopefully Jesus will explain to him it's NOT ok to burglarize business's and sell smack. I support him going thru this program (at HIS cost) but only AFTER serving a full prison time for his crimes. Religious summer camp is becoming an alternative to punishment. I'm sure he WANTS to attend teen challenge. It's better than jail. But he should serve his sentence first before going off and getting in touch with his inner self.



Scranton Tibbs

If we are not going to punish people for breaking the law and what is the point of having laws? It all boils down to this whole new age touchy feely society in which everyone is a victim, every child is a winner, nobodys feelings get hurt, and nobody takes responsibility for their actions. It will unfortunately be the undoing of this country someday.


Scranton.....I'm pretty sure you're the most level headed, intelligent, and down right hilarious person on this comment board. Will you marry me someday ;)

Scranton Tibbs

You're too kind. In real life, I'm even worse. I tone it down for the forums. :o)


Once someone hits the bottom and is heading off to prison they always want to "cut a deal" and do the whole drug intervention thing and proclaim they want to find God and clean their lifestyle up. It's great they want to do that but let's stop doing it at the cost of the taxpayer. I agree, serve your time for the crime, then see how you feel about either getting out on papers or do another 18 month drug rehabilitation and see which one they choose....I put my money on walking on papers over actually going to rehab at their own expense and on their own time. Sad thing is after all is said and done he wants to break down and cry and apologize to his family for any embarrassment he has caused them, I call a BIG BS! If he truly was embarrassed by his choice of lifestyle he would have changed it before it got this far or at least tried to of gotten help! I'm sure his family would have been less embarrassed taking him to rehab than having to go to prison to visit him, just a little food for thought...... It's time to restructure our laws and go back to the way they were intended to be implied and stop looking for loopholes to let the criminals walk free amongst the hard working productive members of society. A little more strict juvenile laws always helps change the direction of misguided youths, follow up with even stricter punishment for repeat offenders as they keep screwing up year after year. There needs to be a end to this cycle and the whole heroin scene just seems to be getting out of control anymore. Take that taxpayer money these counties are using to put addicts through rehab and use it to put a few more man-hours on busting the bigger heroin dealers that are supplying these middle men or users. Heroin abuse and addiction is becoming a plague all over this state and it keeps getting worse by the day, it's time something starts to get done about it before it over-runs all of the counties and not just "Heroin" County..


Tax dollars is not paying for people to attend tern challenge. He will or at least his family will be footing the bill. It is 900 $for the 18 mth program which has staggering success rates for people that complete the program. It should be maditory for all non violent drug offenders instead of cbcf or half way houses. The # speak for them selves. Tern challenge is funded through charities and donations and has a huge huge huge following of believers that give them food, money, clothes ect......so don't worry your precious tax dollars wont be spent here, but like it matters the money will more then Likely be spent on something else way more ignorant than saving someones life.....

Scranton Tibbs

You should apply for a job there. As much as you are on here everyday singing the praises of their wonderful program, they would surely hire you.


Keegan I agree we are in the midst of a heroin epidemic in our community and untill they get the major suppliers and give them real time, or better yet being that no heroin is produced in the US stop it from getting here, the problom is going to get worse....


Its sad and out of control. I read or here about people I went to school with every single day getting busted for this crape. It is destroying a whole generation and is getting worse and the kids are becoming younger and younger everyday

swiss family

I hate to say it.. but by his picture .. he looks like the cartoon guy on "youtube" who sings.."it's a great day to whoop somebody's a$$


they need a Suboxone clinic where you can just walk in and pay the doc and get subs. 90% of the junkies would get clean then guaranteed


Are you being sarcastic?? Because that's what most of them do, get a prescription "to get clean", but then turn around to sell it to get more heroin! They just see if as an easy pay day!!

Richard Cranium

Once a P.O.S., always a P.O.S. This dude will never learn. Teen challenge for him? Now thats a good one! Too bad we don't have a 3 strikes law for all these dirt bags.