Prosecutors have dismissed two counts of trafficking in hydrocodone filed earlier against a Norwalk woman convicted of a similar charge.
Carol J. Ashcroft, 55, was charged with two counts of trafficking in hydrocodone in connection with incidents on Feb. 17 and 24, 2012. The Norwalk Police Department investigated the controlled drug buys.
Prosecutors dismissed those charges Monday. Ashcroft was waiting in Huron County Common Pleas Court for her hearing and after Huron County Public Defender David Longo explained the situation to her, she was allowed to leave the courthouse.
In September, Ashcroft pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in hydrocodone for a Feb. 15, 2012 incident. One month later, Judge Jim Conway ordered her to reimburse police $120 to cover the cost of drug testing. Also, Ashcroft was given a discretionary 60-day jail sentence as part of her three years of probation.
Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff explained what happened and why the two charges were dismissed.
By the time the first case involving one of the sales went through the grand jury process and Ashcroft was convicted, the other two sales were being presented to grand jurors, he said.
"That was the only report we had," Woodruff added, referring to Ashcroft's conviction. "They (the offenses) all happened within about a week of each other."
In the interest of justice, Woodruff said the state dismissed the two counts of trafficking in hydrocodone because Ashcroft already was convicted on the other case. Also, the prosecutor said even if the defendant had been indicted on all three charges at the same time, Ashcroft likely would have pleaded guilty later to one of the charges as part of a plea deal.
When Ashcroft was arraigned on the two charges in late September, Longo told the court there was a communication breakdown and clerical mistake about the new charges because otherwise, they likely would have been resolved with the previous case.