Defendant with 'one helluva addiction' sent back to prison

Woman tells judge: "This has been an embarrassment to my family."
Cary Ashby
Feb 27, 2014


She's heading back to prison.

But her best friend doesn't think imprisonment will help her. She said she thinks an intense, year-long substance abuse treatment center would better suit Stephanie L. (Broz) Cleveland.

"Going to prison isn't going to help her," said Jonelle Cole, also Cleveland's colleague at the Elite School of Cosmetology in Norwalk. "Teen Challenge would be great for her."

Cole said she finds it unfair that other defendants convicted of fifth-degree felonies get county jail time on the work release program while Cleveland won't be able to finish school. First-time felons convicted of fourth- or fifth-degree felonies aren't eligible for prison terms. Cleveland, however, was sentenced in late September 2008 to three years in prison for selling heroin.

"She was doing so well in school," said Cole, the defendant's best friend.

Cleveland received a two-year prison term Wednesday.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway said shoplifting from Kohl's in Cuyahoga County doesn't give him any faith Cleveland would succeed under probation. On Dec. 16, the judge revoked the defendant's $20,000 bond due to the theft.

Conway ruled Wednesday a consecutive sentence was necessary to help protect the community. Cleveland received eight months in prison for one count each of trafficking in Suboxone, possession of methadone and possession of heroin. She also must reimburse the Norwalk Police Department $80 to cover the cost of drug testing.

In June 2010, Cleveland was released early from prison into a community-based corrections facility, a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education. She completed the CBCF and a 12-step substance abuse program.

Cleveland told the judge that finding her sobriety wasn't easy.

She said she's "highly remorseful" for selling her own prescription.

"This has been an embarrassment to my family. ... They're disappointed by my actions," said Cleveland, who cried while reading her written statement.

The defendant's mother sat with her head down and in her hands in the courtroom after the sentencing hearing. She declined to comment.

"I'm not a monster; I'm an addict," Cleveland said.

On Nov. 21, 2012, Cleveland sold .1 gram of Suboxone to someone for $60. Then, on July 4, 2013, police found a small amount of methadone and heroin in her residence.

In her original drug case, Cleveland was arrested June 5, 2008 when she was returned from Columbus, where she bought 41 balloons, or doses, of heroin. Authorities said she called various people to make delivery arrangements as she returned to Huron County. Cleveland's son, who was 2 months old, was in the car when police made the Benedict Avenue traffic stop.

Cleveland's father and stepmother now have custody of both of her children.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler has known Cleveland since the seventh grade when she played volleyball.

"She's a very talented young woman," said Leffler, who recommended a 22-month prison term. "But when she gets to selling drugs ... it becomes a serious problem."

Defense attorney Reese Wineman said there's no doubt his client "has a problem."

"I agree; she has potential," he added. "She has one helluva addiction. ... She needs long-term treatment."

The court ruled Cleveland is a good candidate for the risk-reduction program. That means if she successfully completes an in-house substance abuse program, she could be released from prison after serving 80 percent of her sentence.



Nope far from an idiot that's how we grade...and if your so smart do something constructive instead of sitting on here making comments about something you know nothing about. Put your gpa college grad to use and help some kid struggling with their grades..


It seems to me that there are quite a few of you on here that have nothing better to do with your time than to downgrade others. I've never seen a comment that wasn't negative come out of some of you! It's clear that this girl has made mistakes, but it's not like you haven't. She's a young girl who obviously went down the wrong path. That's clear, I think everyone realizes that. But there's some of you that just have to exaggerate the fact that she's made mistakes. Does it make you feel better about yourself? Pointing out someone else's flaws? There is not one person on here that has a right to judge this girl or anyone else. I guarantee you've made mistakes too, granted maybe not as large as this, but that's no reason to sit here and degrade her.. And her family?! It just seems to me that some of you have absolutely no respect. She was obviously in the wrong, and she is being punished for it. Hopefully she comes out of this as a changed person. But, I can guarantee that some of your rude and negative comments aren't going to help. You want to say how she's such a bad person, well guess what she was hanging out with bad people, negative people.. Well why don't you take a look in the mirror and look how negative you are being. People like you are what gives "criminals" no hope to change.

Scranton Tibbs

If you don't like hearing about others mistakes then why do you read the paper?


Oh so I said I didn't like hearing about other peoples mistakes?

Scranton Tibbs

I'm gonna continue to make fun of these losers no matter how many sermons you give. So is everybody else. Instead of preaching to everyone else maybe you should realize I have the freedom to say what I want and it's not your place to play self righteous forum cop.


Lol who's a loser? Take a look in the mirror. You're accusing me of saying things that I never said. You can say whatever you want, it's actually quite amusing. That's why I read the paper genius, to see what people like you, people who think they are so smart and so much better than everyone else, have to say. It's usually very comical for people who are absolute nobodies to be degrading others.

Scranton Tibbs

You didn't sound too comical in your comment. Nor do you sound amused. Hurt because someone made fun of a drug dealer. You're right, I am better than you. I will no longer respond to you, as I do not converse with lesser people who are obviously less intelligent and interesting than myself. Have a great day and try to bee happier. Go help your druggie friends.


Druggie friends? Hahah I don't do drugs nor do I have "druggie friends" there we go with judging again. And you are better than me, better than everyone aren't you ;) & it seems to me, that you're the one who needs to "Beehappy" ;) Have a lovely day Einstein!


Finally someone with some sense!!! :-)


But remember, I can say what I want too. ;)

Everyone is fam...

It seems to be a trend that friends and family comment on these articles and have the same song and dance.

"No one is perfect"
"No one has the right to judge" (as they stand on their holier than thou pulpit and judge others)
"They were hanging out with the wrong crowd"
"They are being punished already"

Blah, blah, blah.

There is a simple solution to this problem. If you don't want criticism, then don't do a crime and land in the paper. It's her own fault that people are talking about her. Everyone needs to quit acting like they are entitled to sympathy.


Just figured I'd let you know I don't know her or anyone in her family ;) I'm just one of the many people voicing my opinion :) & it just so happens we don't have the same opinion.. But that's okay because I'm gonna voice mine and you're gonna voice yours :)

Everyone is fam...

And that's fine. It's not only you that has posted their distaste for the comments on here. But no matter what anyone says, people are going to voice their distaste with the crimes, mugshots, and people that are written about in the newspaper.


I agree with you 100% and I'm not saying I disagree with the way that people feel, I'm just saying it's clear she was wrong she obviously is in prison where she honestly should be because this isn't her first offense, but there's a difference with voicing your opinion and just being cruel. I hope she learns from this because many people don't, but only time will tell. Who knows. But thank you for being understanding of my opinion, as I am of everyone else's. I didn't go pointing people out or degrading people like some do, I was just saying how I felt, and some people apparently are a little sensitive. But once again, I appreciate the fact that you do seem like one of the more decent people who do comment on these. Have a lovely day Everyone Is Fam! :)

Scranton Tibbs

EXACTLY. Same preachy comments every time. Yet I'm still here making fun if them.


Yes we all make mistakes. But for most of us those mistakes are not FELONIES. I forget my purse at home. I forget to send lunch money with my kids. I forget to buy eggs at the grocery store. I forget to pay the water bill and need to pay a late fee. I have never made the mistake of shooting heroin. I have never made the mistake of SELLING drugs. I have never made the mistake of getting arrested. I do have respect though. I have enough respect for myself and my family to not do drugs. I respect my friends and neighbors enough to not sell drugs. So you can judge those of us that do not like druggies or dealers all you want, that makes you no better than the rest of us. I will continue to have the same thoughts and judgments about them.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


JERRY, JERRY, JERRY. Thank God for the interweb.


bee happy,I took your advice and went and looked in the mirror and I saw a guy who had 2 kids who stayed sober and at home until they graduated college.
I saw a guy who wouldn't think of sticking a needle in my arm nor would either of my 2 kids,
thanks for the advice it made me more proud of myself and my kids





Scranton Tibbs



Booya! Lol definitely "like"

Cliff Cannon

@earlduck : " Like " Also totally agree with "fedup2 " : Praying for all concerned.


I believe that my statement wasn't directed towards you? But congratulations. You're a success ;)



swiss family

I think we need to learn a valuable lesson here..back when she was first arrested .. because of the positions that her parents had, people see,med to make a bigger deal out of it. if that is fair or not is a good question, but then she did her time and her classes and actually was sober, and just like so many other newly clean addicts, when she got out , she wanted to save everyone.. so she addressed the school and started i, in good faith, a program to get and stay sober, but addiction is a powerful beast, and it called her name again, and she fell..

Every addict falls from time to time, the challenge is to get back up, and since she was caught while still "using" she was given the scarlet letter.. the branding of a hypocrite and a liar..unfortunately, I really was sincere in wanting everyone to get sober and follow her lead, But because again of her parents jobs, she was burned at the stake, so to speak, I think to make everyone else get distracted from their own failures and focus on her.

She is not perfect, and I don't want to , or intend to make it sound like she made a "mistake" no, she made a choice, and now has to pay for her bad judgement.. I think it is hard enough on her, and her family to have to go through this, but to read all of the personal shots, and hateful, hurtful comments is not helping anything either. Obviously if she is as deep into the culture as she is, then the main people in her life are either "turning a blind eye to what she does" or are enabling her is NOT your fault , that she chose to make the bad decision she did, but you must be doing something to feed into her addiction. I would suggest that anyone with any close interaction with her , use this time to see what you are doing that aides her habit, and then get ready for the "tough love" that needs to be established in your relationship with her. If you are enabling her, you are doing it to make yourself either "numb" to it, or to pacify your own feelings and lack of being honest with her.

I wish her, and her family, and her friends and neighbors, strength to get this "monkey" off her back once and for all..Like the commercials said, "no one hopes to grow up to be an addict when they are kids", and she didn't either.. it is a long, tough road.. and you really need support to make some tough choices and decisions to make this stop.. Wishing you the best, .. and God bless you.


Swiss- do you ever just write a simple blog?..good lord. Shorten it up and I may read it and make sense of it...stop drinking and writing at the same time...

swiss family

although I do appreciate your feed back and observations, I have to stop you when you call me the "Good Lord"!! that title goes to only one entity and I am not him... but thanks for the compliment though,it means a lot...


Swiss family I couldn't have said it better myself. God bless you!