A Sandusky man pleaded guilty Monday to giving his brother a ride to a heroin transaction -- but a prosecutor said the defendant didn't know that's where he was going until he arrived.
Jacob A. Wimer, 23, was convicted of an amended charge of obstruction of justice. A Huron County grand jury originally indicted him on complicity to trafficking in heroin.
Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said there was some weakness in the state's original case and after an investigation, authorities determined one could make a "colorful argument" that Wimer didn't know he was taking his brother to the drug deal "until the last moment" and was arrested after he tried to drive his brother away.
Wimer's brother, Jedidiah, 21, pleaded guilty last week to one count of trafficking in heroin. In exchange for the conviction, prosecutors dismissed two other charges of trafficking in heroin in connection with incidents on Sept. 25 and 26.
The Norwalk Police Department had recruited a confidential informant. Leffler said Jedidiah A. Wimer had provided heroin to the informant on a "number of occasions" beforehand. On Oct. 11, Wimer got a flat tire and eventually talked his brother into giving him a ride to Norwalk, he said, but Jacob Wimer didn't know he was driving to a drug deal his brother had arranged until he arrived at the gas station.
"Police swooped in. It essentially was a buy-bust," Leffler added.
Upon being arrested, police found some marijuana on Jacob Wimer and issued a related summons.
Wimer will be sentenced April 2. He earlier posted a $5,000 bond.
Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway told Wimer that unless he got into trouble between now and his sentencing hearing, the judge said he told attorneys he was willing to impose community control sanctions, which could include six to 12 months in jail.
Jedidiah A. Wimer has a tampering-with-evidence charge pending in Erie County. The Sandusky Police Department investigated the suspected May 10 incident and prosecutors filed the third-degree felony three days later, according to Sandusky Municipal Court records.