A convicted drug dealer with a lengthy criminal history received the maximum sentence Tuesday for selling heroin to a confidential informant.
Edward E. Blair, 37, most recently of 52 W. League St., was sentenced to one year in prison -- the maximum amount for trafficking in heroin. The fifth-degree felony conviction is for a March 8 controlled drug purchase.
Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway said the maximum sentence was needed to protect the public and would be an appropriate punishment for Blair.
"Your record indicates any time you're out on the street, you commit new offenses," the judge said.
Blair's previous felony convictions include burglary, illegal conveyance of drugs and having weapons under disability.
"He has a criminal history going back 20 years," said Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Daivia Kasper, referring to Blair's record as "one of the most significant criminal histories to come before the court."
"Prison is not just appropriate; it's necessary ... for punishment and the safety of the community," she added.
Blair was released from prison in January 2013 before he committed his most recent crimes. As part of a plea deal in October, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a second count of trafficking in heroin in connection with a March 12 incident.
The defendant told the judge Tuesday he has a "serious drug problem," including marijuana and heroin usage, which "got a hold" of him. Blair blamed his drug addiction and alcohol usage on the reason for his arrest.
Huron County Public Defender David Longo requested the judge consider a nine- or 10-month prison term because the controlled buy involved a relatively small amount of heroin -- about 2/100 grams.
In addition to his prison term, Blair must reimburse the Norwalk Police Department $80 to cover the cost of drug testing and had his driver's license suspended for six months. Blair, whose driver's license was suspended for six months, was credited with serving 62 days in the Huron County Jail.