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.


swiss family

thank you!!!


that pretty smile sure stirred up the comments section..


Probably stirred up your briefs too Mikey.


you are correct, sir!


the reflector should leave her pic on the website all the time to pretty things up a bit!

former local

Interesting the paper made sure they used her maiden name, so everyone knew the local family that was involved. as someone who has spent many years in the media, I often wonder about the professionalism in this paper.


As they say in the "news" business..."If it reads"...hence the sensationalism.


To bad her best friend is a junkie too. Aren't addicts told to stay away from other addicts? Taking your fellow drug abusing and used to be in prison friend along to court is probably a bad idea.


I've said it many times before and it bears repeating:

Unless, someone forcibly holds you down, at gunpoint, or ties you up and shoots that needle in your arm for you -- It's a CHOICE! Not a mistake, not a disease. Anybody and everybody knows what this $hit can do. It's been around long enough, it just didn't show up out of the blue.

I think that the glamour shot on this article is over the top. Same with the remarks from the prosecutor.

Frankly, when you get busted, mug shot put in public paper; you are then, public domain. Deal with it, comments against you on thread are a modern version of public stoning. Simple advise is - don't break the law and get arrested.

***I do hope I spelled everything correctly; so certain posters won't think I'm a junkie and "riding the white horse" or "dancing with Mr. Brownstone", simply because I use the old school street slang.



Ill pray for her.


98% gpa huh? lol call me crazy but im pretty sure GPAs aren't measured in percent's...stop sticking up for dumbasses when you seem to be right next to her...


Wrong place at the wrong time? If she didn't live in Norwalk she may have never discovered this awful drug. And don't anyone give me any s**t about drugs being everywhere. Norwalk is a heroin haven. Someone from out of town asked me for directions to Norwalk and then asked what Norwalk was known for. I said heroin and high gas prices. Now call me a lier.


Funniest yet truest comment!! It's awful how bad Norwalk has gotten!


It's everywhere, not just Norwalk, it's in my town, too. Big Cities, small towns, rural farmlands, villages. Everywhere. She would have gotten it anyway.


hairgirl1 could u plez tell me ur reaql name and where u work,m so I can make sure I don't get my hair done by u. U get an a+ for being a friend. But this girl had several chances thats at least 3 to get help for herself, then blows it all to steal something from a store. if she cant turn her life around for the sake of those 2 beautiful boys, then her beautiful hair belongs in prison. No cream rinse there. she will have plenty of time in her cell to think of ways to try and thank her parents for taking care of those kids, those lives she also ruined by selling drugs,who did not ask for this by the way, just pure innocent children caught up in the drug world which she was helping to keep on ruining peoples lives all for the sake of money. When u get out, I hope your boys can say My mother is clean. If you cant do it for yourself, for gods sake do it for them.

Mr Spock

Gotta love Huron county,with all the brain power(.98) might??????? be able to get a great hair cut. If she isn't high on drugs


well I guess this will open the Miss maple City contest to some of our young ladies with less beauty and talent

Your neighbor

The victims here are her boys!! Her oldest was not close to her at all due to her being in prison the first time. Now is has been ripped from him again. Children like this are hurt for life. I know they can still lead a happy full life so don't give me the crap. They are damaged deep down inside. I know Steph and I know the boys. I think she is a worthless mother. Women like this should not be able to see her children. She is just hurting them more, Trust me I know this from experience. Where is Geoff in all this??


I just love how ppl can and act like they know about addiction. Im not saying you dont know a little about it from what you seen and hear. But I can grantee most of it is B.S. You can not judge a person with an addiction for thats truly not who that person is. So if I was you id not be so quick to open your un educated mouth. Cause if you never been there dont speak on it. Also it is a disease amd not only that. Its also a epidemic for our time. Just so you know!!! Also if you ever been to our prison system they dont help at all. They do make you more of a criminal. There is only one way to help a addict and thats treatment. So instead of judging all alaways thinking prison. Why dont we open our eyes n help our fellow people? Why not open more rehabs instead of prison doors. Open your eyes American. Just saying


I've never had an addiction but I know people that have. I agree with you 100%!!

Your neighbor

I know first hand about addiction. I also have close family that has chosen to do heroin, and now have the children that are hurt by it. It is NOT a disease, it's a choice, it's a habit. I know if I run my car off into a ditch it might kill me, I also know if I do heroin it might kill me. I CHOOSE not to do it. I was addicted to alcohol and cig. I don't do it anymore. I fight the cravings, it's my choice not to do it anymore. Same goes for here. The only thing I agree with you on is prison does not seem to help. But I know darn well that would be a place I would not put myself in a situation to might end up going to. She was out, she was doing good, she choose to go back to that life style, she knew the consequences!!!!!

swiss family

although I do believe the drugs and addictions are a choice, I think that sometimes people do not understand the entire picture.

I am sure most people have heard of "Tar heroin..and the little bit that I know about it, is that it is like a tar, which can be smeared on a rolling paper, and then add pot and it is smoked by unsuspecting pot smokers, and it has started their addiction to heroin... certainly at that time they make a choice to either get help or find more drugs, hopefully heroin. Maybe they ought to offer AA classes in prison, and if any addict really wants to turn their lives around, they will attend..and come out a better person, but again it is their choice that matters


I cannot believe there are 100 plus comments on this article. She is just a girl who is no better than every other person who smokes, drinks, drugs, lies, cheats, steals, and etc. Just another drugged up girl who never did anything wrong; poppycock. P.S. Hairgirl1 must be the above mentioned colleague..


the story got all these comments because she's hot!


Thank god I moved to California, so I don't have to wait online for a news paper to post something stupid to make my life seem better than it is. What a bunch of tight wads. You live in a town that all the people can be counted in 45 minutes. Leave norwalk. Get a taste of people not having to kiss butt to get by in life. If your last name isn't right guess what? It doesn't matter because nobody knows you!


But California is overrun with drugs, crime, "illegal illegals" ( I love that song), drought and you do know it's gonna fall into the Pacific, anytime now ,right?

;] ;]


Swiss are you serious.???? They do have AA meetings in every jail and prison in the country.... Some of these comments are crazy and it really reveals the level of intellect , respect, morals, and arrogance of some of these clowns.. I always sympathize with the addicts, and want the best for them. Sobriety is achievable , and with hard work and dedication can be acquired. It amazes me how clueless some of you are how things actually work in the real world.. A heroin addict needs to have the drug to function. Morning, lunch, and dinner. So when you here of these addicts getting caught for making a sale doesn't really make them a dealer... It does by definition, but not on the street. You are always looking to middle, or rip off another addict with no connection, or you grab enough to try and recoup some of your money back to help support your habit. Almost all addicts have to do this to support their habit. In my eyes you have to be actually making money , and getting large amounts to be a dealer. Not getting enough to get you through one day and having to middle a few friends, and doing it all over again tomorrow, just to get by. To get out of bed, to take care of the kids, to give the illusion your a normal citizen.......... How ever I was under the impression she got caught selling suboxone, used to treat addicts. It shouldn't even be illegal to sell stubs. Your doing that person a favor, and saving their life for one more day. Once they take that suboxone they can function as a normal citizen, and it prohibits them from using opiates the rest of the day. In reality you just saved a life....what I'm basically saying is she is just like be very other, not a dealer , just a user. It goes hand in hand.
But what doesn't go hand and hand is trying to lie , and entrap other people that party and use but she knows they don't all, and she was trying to convince them to get her stuff, begging for help, so in return you can lie and tell the cops they are dealing... I can't even believe the dumb a$% cops let that ride. She is the biggest joke I've ever encountered. She's a doozy. Special breed of liar, manipulater, and con artist. You better never show your head around Sandusky, its not like Norwalk were its the norm to tell on your friends. Your not welcome again ever...I your the low of the low, not because of your addiction, but because of lack of respect and loyalty to everyone..( kids, family, friends, judge, ext...)


If she wanted to get clean she could have taken the suboxone to help herself get off of heroin, not sell it to get the next hit...


Hairgirl1 , prison could do something for her if she really wanted to make a difference in her life, there are programs to start with, and there is a really nice one called tapestry(18 months to complete), this program is a very strict program that has rules and no tolerance. This program is isolated from the general population, which is a great thing. If she truly wants to change her life and become a stronger person for her self and her family then she will, otherwise she can stay with the general population and still find drugs there to get her by until she gets out and repeat the cycle.


Suboxone , I personally think is a generic form of herion, that keeps the cycle going, and safer then herion, just legally acquired by script, then sold illegal to acquire the real stuff.