An area college student must forfeit $176 seized by the Huron County Sheriff's Office during a drug-related traffic stop.
Steven R. Spangenberg, 20, of Wellington, also was fined $500 Wednesday and must reimburse the sheriff's office $80 to cover the cost of drug testing. In early February, he pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in methylecathinone (aka "Ecstasy") in exchange for prosecutors dismissing one count of possession of Ecstasy.
On Aug. 23, Detective Eric Bardar stopped Spangenberg on Chenango Road in connection with making a rolling stop. After the driver tapped his brakes at the Ohio 18 intersection, he didn't come to a complete stop and continued southbound on Chenango. The detective clocked Spangenberg going 70 mph in a 55-mph zone at one point.
Before the traffic stop, a confidential informant informed the sheriff's office that Spangenberg was expected to come to Huron County for a drug buy.
At Wednesday's sentencing hearing, Spangenberg said he made some "bad mistakes" and his family is disappointed in him. He also said he wants to move on and live up to the promise he know he has.
Spangenberg is a student at The University of Akron. He is working part-time and plans to work full-time for the same company during the summer.
"He's taking 15 credits now. He'll be done May 9," defense attorney Brett Murner said.
While Spangenberg "made some horrible decisions" and has a substance abuse problem, Murner said his client "took full responsibility for his actions immediately." Spangenberg sought an assessment of substance abuse treatment at college.
Bardar had testified he saw a knotted-up baggie, which contained a white substance, in the floorboard of the driver's side in plain view. He estimated the baggie was "about the size of a golf ball." Once the detective got consent to search the vehicle, he said he found a similar sized bag under the driver's seat.
Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Daivia Kasper said the detective seized $657 worth of drugs that was found in the defendant's possession.
Spangenberg is on three years of probation. On Wednesday, the judge imposed a potential 90-day jail sentence, which the defendant's probation officer can schedule at any time or ask the judge to have it waived if Spangenberg is doing particularly well on community control sanctions.
If Spangenberg violates his probation, he faces 18 months in prison.