Wrong place raided? Not so, says sheriff's spokesman

Mom and son arrested on secret indictments at Norwalk home.
Cary Ashby
Mar 28, 2014


Rumors about authorities using a warrant at the wrong Norwalk residence are untrue, a sheriff's spokesman said Thursday.

"It's highly inaccurate. It's not factual," Huron County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Ted Patrick told the Reflector.

"We stand behind what we did. I stand behind what our men and women did," he added.

Patrick broke down the sequence of events that happened in the 100 block of Benedict Avenue just after 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Deputies went to 114 1/2 Benedict Ave. to use a drug-related search warrant. Patrick said officers didn't arrest the male suspect they were seeking, but they used the warrant and seized evidence that will be tested by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

"We still haven't found the guy," he added.

While deputies were at the triplex, Patrick said the sheriff's office received a tip that a male suspect who lives nearby was wanted on a felony warrant.

"We did a knock-and-talk. We were invited into the home," he said. "We located two people in there who were wanted on two felony warrants. They were secret indictments."

Thomas M. Papp, 34, and his mother, Patricia Papp, 58, both of 114 Benedict Ave., were arrested.

"Mr. Papp gave himself up," Patrick said.

Thomas Papp is charged with trafficking in oxycodone in connection with a Sept. 9, 2012 incident. His mother faces a similar felony stemming from a July 8, 2012 offense.

Each defendant entered "not guilty" to their respective charges Wednesday. Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway scheduled separate trial dates and released them on personal recognizance bonds. That means the defendants signed a court document promising they would appear at future hearings and didn't have to pay any money.

Before deputies used the warrant, they notified the Norwalk Police Department they would be in Norwalk.

Patrick said the sheriff's office notified police about 30 minutes beforehand.

"I believe their detectives were notified a day in advance," he added. "We try to involve them as much as we can."

Police Chief Dave Light and Capt. Mike Conney confirmed the sheriff's office gave their department a heads-up.

"We weren't involved in that at all," Conney said, referring to the warrant arrests. "None of our people were there."

Conney said it's common courtesy for a law-enforcement agency to notify police if they are doing something like using a warrant or making an arrest in Norwalk. He stressed it's done for "officer safety and the safety of residents."

"You have to know what's going on," Conney added.





Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Profane, obscene, sexual or derogatory language.


Are you serious? Well obviously you are but.............


they love you rickross2. they didn't agree with your self assessment.


The love is mutual. I love me too


Not wrong place? Any doubt about that should be removed with this article, as it's the first article about this and it starts with the sheriff's office trying to cover their a--es right outta the gate? Ever hear 'a skunk smells their own hole first? Def. Had the wrong place at first!


Oh hey here's a thought... maybe the actual search warrant had the wrong address on it.hmmm


It says nothing about someone at first apartment not being arrested. It says the guy they were looking for was not arrested and they gathered evidence against the person on the warrant. If you have a better way to solve the drug problem let’s hear it. The amount of people CONSTANTLY bad mouthing the police who are trying to make a difference is ridiculous! You b!tch about the drug problem and then you b!tch about the people trying to fix it! I don't even know why they have the comments anymore...all you got are people who love to crack jokes and be stupid.


The Sheriff's department was told that the person they were going to bust had not been living in the apartment for the last two years. They ignored the warning. They busted in, drew their weapons and "searched" (tore apart) the place. The resident there had nothing to do with any crime. After it blew up in their face, they conveniently went next door and got a couple of people on existing warrants. Smoke and mirrors.
Don't expect local media to fully inform you.


And you know this because you told them he wasn't there? And people always tell the truth when hiding a criminal


How can a "Secret Indictment" be constitutional?

The sixth amendment says, 'In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right..to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him..'

Cary Ashby

Secret indictments are issued for defendants when authorities suspect the person would be on the run if their charges were made public before their arrests. Typically this done with drug defendants -- at least in Huron Co.


Why is the NR defending their article in the comment section? Highly inappropriate. Your time would be better spent writing a more in depth follow up article.

Here's a question or two: Why is Sheriff Howard spending so much time in a Norwalk and not involving NPD? If I were a county resident outside of Norwalk I would be more than a little perturbed at his grandstanding. (Hint, election season is coming up...)

Is HCSO going to be sued for wrongful arrest? They should be. And the detective should be held accountable.

There is way more to this story that a good reporter should be digging into.


Planet of the apes 2014? I feel for the Law Enforcement people. Drug dealers need to be beheaded societies big problem...........Drugs


Theres a story about this in the Sandusky Register. The judge issued a super secret gag order on what happened.


Everyone go look at the Sandusky register story on how the judge has issued a gag order on this raid!! And a gag order on his gag order!!! Can we say cover up???? What a shame! The hcso should be investigated and so should the judge abusing his power to cover for them!!!


Id just like to comment. Seems this is my house that this occurred. Maybe if everyome knew and knows so much now I dont any of you will believe it, but I was the person thathad the guns drawn on them and focred to the ground for no apparent reason. So before you talk open your eyes. If I was to come to your house as a cop throw you to the ground n just walk away. Well you might be crazy. I mean I didnt mention that I wasnt even supposed to be in your house. I just dont get it. But hey if it ever happens. To you I bet you well not feel the same. panic attacks anyone.


Regardless if this was the wrong place or not, these things, while unacceptable, are going to happen from time to time. It is not uncommon to have drug search warrants sealed. I assume this would be done to protect the informant. Westerhold from the Register smells blood and will be exploiting this for all its worth. If there was an error I would assume it was a good faith error. If the case is still under investigation then it is not public record, even though Westerhold may feel entitled he is not. I think withholding information,even if legally, feeds into his bias, so he is probably happy he does not get anything, that way he feels even more justified in crying cover up and corruption.


Good faith error? The Sheriff's Office was WARNED the person they were going to bust had not been there for two years. Repeatedly WARNED.


Ok but the man whose place they did raid is a known heroin user and dealer so it's not like it was a bad mistake anyways lol.


You can talk a good game but need to check your facts. You sound like one of those Dicks thats better then everyone. How about youcheck your mouth before it over rider your little butt.


Keep up the good work Sheriff's Office!!!!! It's nice to see at least one police agency trying to keep the drug users in check


Thank you very much but. I am not a using herion addict. I am clean and have been for 7 months. Thank you very much so check on your facts before you post. Just because my past is lil dark dont mean im a badd person. Some people make mistakes and I did and can admit my wrongs. I am clean and been out of trouble for over 4 years thank you. May God pass judgement on you.


I hope all you haters are perfect throughout your lives. If you stole a cookie from the cookie jar when you were young I suppose someone should cut your hand off today,right? Get outta here.


From my understanding this has become a regular issue with this department. If this was an honest mistake then say it was a mistake and not try to cover it up. Honesty means a lot these days and if we can't get that from those who "protect and serve" how are we to respect them. @Knowitfirst you don't have to explain yourself to anyone on here. Obviously most of the people on here were not taught any better than the ignorance that they spew. If you have had so much as a dui they are screaming "narc", "junkie", "trash" and so on. Best of luck to you!


@ignoranceisbliss, I want to make a comment on your comment.,,,,,, Honesty means a lot these days and if we can't get that from those who "protect and serve"........ It is not the DUTY of the police to protect us. It is our duty to protect ourselves.........."In cases such as DeShaney v. Winnebago County (1989) and Castle Rock v. Gonzales (2005), the Supreme Court has declined to put police and other public authorities under any general duty to protect individuals from crime." And please bare this in mind as they try to take your second amendment right away from you.