Sheriff stands by deputies in raid dispute

Howard expects Norwalk resident to be charged once test results come back on seized drugs.
Cary Ashby
Apr 1, 2014


Authorities said they gathered information during a highly contested drug-related search warrant which led to the arrest of a mother and son on secret indictments.

The Huron County Sheriff’s Office went to John Collins’ apartment at 114 1/2 Benedict Ave. to use a drug-related search warrant March 25.

Collins has said he’s been a law-abiding citizen for the last four to five years and contends deputies had no reason to break down his door and handcuff him.

Sheriff Dane Howard gave the Reflector his perspective of the incident Monday.

“It’s clear my detectives acted in accordance with the law and executed the search warrant (appropriately),” the sheriff said. “The deputies acted properly and there was no misconduct and it’s as simple as that.”

Howard said the warrant clearly listed that deputies were seeking drug paraphernalia and “all the chatter and rumors” about deputies going to the wrong residence simply isn’t true.

“I don’t think that in my 30 years as a law-enforcement officer that anybody is happy about executing a search warrant and (officers) taking their drugs,” Howard added.

Ultimately, Collins wasn’t arrested, but he provided information that led to his next-door neighbors being arrested.

“That information came out of the use of the search warrant,” Howard said.

Howard said the warrant clearly listed that deputies were seeking drug paraphernalia. He said his officers found some suspected items, which Collins said "was for his drug abuse." The sheriff expects Collins to be charged once the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation tests the evidence.

Chief Deputy Ted Patrick said detectives had probable cause there was "drug activity taking place" at Collins' apartment and suspected drug abusers had been "going in and out" of there.

Patrick explained what led to using the search warrant at Collins’ apartment and how deputies can use information to make warrant-related arrests — even though they don’t have the indictments with them at the time.

Generally when using search warrants, deputies secure everyone who is present for officers’ safety until they can figure out where the suspects and any possible weapons are, Patrick said.

“Drugs and guns go hand in hand,” he added. “When we confirm everyone is safe, … then we release them.

"There’s nothing wrong with the search warrant,” Patrick said, referring to the raid. “That’s the only search warrant we had.”

Deputies asked Collins if he knew who else lives in the three-apartment complex. Patrick said when Collins mentioned Thomas Papp and his mother Patricia live on the other side of him, that reminded one of the detectives that one of the Papps was wanted on a secret indictment.

“They let us in the home. One of them was arrested,” Patrick said about the Papps.

Thomas M. Papp, 34, of 114 Benedict Ave., 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. They have been released on bond.

When deputies ran the names of the other occupants of the Papp residence March 25, they determined either the mother or her son was wanted on a warrant, Patrick said.

“We didn’t know who lived next door until Collins told us. … Through Collins, we learned where the Papps lived,” he continued.

Patricia Papp and another one of her sons, Timothy, told the Reflector deputies didn’t have a warrant when they made the arrests. Patricia Papp also said authorities should know where she lives since she’s been there for eight years.

“They didn’t have the secret indictments on them. … They’re supposed to have the warrants on them,” she said.

“Because they messed up, they had to make an arrest,” her son added.

Patrick said it’s not necessary to have a warrant in hand when arresting a suspect.

“All you have to have is knowledge of a warrant,” Patrick said. “I don’t have to have that in hand. … It happens every day.”

The sheriff’s spokesman used the example of an officer knowing a certain person is wanted on a warrant. Patrick said the officer then can use that knowledge to arrest the suspect.

Patrick said once deputies took the Papps to the Huron County Jail, they were served with their warrants.

“As soon as they were arrested, they were served with a secret indictment.”

Mistaken identity of officers

The question of the Norwalk Police Department being at or near the Papps’ residence possibly was a case of mistaken identity.

The Papps alleged they saw two Norwalk officers at the scene March 25. They said one cop was in the front lawn and another was in the Simply U Tanning parking lot next door and at one point, two officers were in their “living room right there by the door.”

However, Chief Dave Light has said multiple times his officers weren’t involved in the warrant even though deputies had notified them beforehand.

“I just talked to (Detective Sgt.) Jim Fulton. They were doing another investigation,” Light said Sunday.

Patrick confirmed that Norwalk police weren’t at the scene. The sheriff’s spokesman said it’s possible the officers identified by the Papps were members of the Huron County drug task force who were at the residence.

“They weren’t dressed in blue uniforms like Norwalk,” Patrick said. “Norwalk wasn’t there; they weren’t involved.”


JMOP's picture

So now Howard is calling Collins a narc?


Are you surprised?

JMOP's picture

Kinda, sorta. I guess I thought giving a tip was anonymous, but it seems Howard is playing tit4tat.


Absolutely...Collins threw them all over a cliff. The Sheriff just grabbed his foot on the way down. Lol


Hcs must have forgotten they had Mr papp in custody last month. That why they didn't already know where he lived? They probably forgot to write it down?

enough of the bs

So if a mistake was made why would Patrick try to pretend it doesn't exist? I would think a mistake would be easier to explain than the outright lies that are being spread regarding this incident. The truth will come out eventually and maybe finally people will begin to see the kingdom that the Bus runs isn't so utopian.

enough of the bs

BTW, I think this may allow a can of worms to be opened now that the media is getting a side of the administration that others have experienced. They should know you cant try to take on journalism and expect to hide skeletons. More to come...


This just sounds like hcso trying to play this off as nothing. Sounds like he is saying as long as you have a warrant for one address. You can go into ALL the apartments at that location? I don't know many cops that just break into other peoples houses at gun point for "safety" reasons, then if they see something take it and test it for drugs. Why not randomly check every Mexican for a green card that is walk down the road? Oh yeah. It's against the LAW! if that search warrant didn't have his exact address on it, then this was wrong.

Really are you ...

How did they make 114 1/2 out of a triplex? 114, 114 1/2, and ?. 3/4 but that is 3 of 4 a quad.


The numbers would be a bull crap technicality if that's the main issue. If it has his name, and it says 114 instead of 114 1/2 or whatever it actually is, that's peanuts to me.


They are experienced law officers, they know the first rule, "do not admit anything". They never will!


hahha Collins told them were the Papp's lived?? like they didn't know? hey don't take me, take the Papp's next door. This don't even sound right!


(Sorry for the article)

From my law book on executing warrants...

"....the agents are allowed to search ONLY the area or place specified in the warrant and they can seize only the items specified in the warrant. They can ONLY search in a place where the specified items are likely to be found. For example, if the warrant authorizes a search of your backyard, the agents generally can't enter and search your home. Similarly, if the warrant is for a stolen car, they can't look in your desk or dresser drawers."

"The warrant may authorize the search of "the premises at 11359 Happy Glade Avenue between the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m." and direct the police to search for and seize "cash, betting slips, record books, and every other means used in connection with placing bets on horses."

If my law book is correct then Dane and the judge that issued the warrant did some things wrong, like leave off an address. Dane claims that the warrant said that it, "clearly listed that deputies were seeking drug paraphernalia." But for what address? You just cant execute this warrant on all of Huron County.

To get a warrant, agents need to:

•Ask a neutral and detached magistrate or judge for a warrant.

A "magistrate" is similar to a judge. He's usually an attorney or retired judge who's been hired by the court to handle certain matters to ease the judges' busy schedules. "Neutral and detached" means that the magistrate isn't involved in the case or the investigation and doesn't have a personal bias or "axe to grind" with the suspect. Persons who aren't neutral and detached include police officers, a district attorney, state attorney general or a justice of the peace who receives a fee for each warrant issued.

•Convince the magistrate that there is probable cause to search for and seize property.

Generally, there's probable cause to search when there's a fair probability that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found in the place that the police want to search. The agents need to give the magistrate this information under oath or affirmation, that is, they need to swear that the information is true. Typically, they give the magistrate an affidavit - a written statement given under oath. However, a search warrant may be given when the agents give the magistrate this information orally.

•Identify for the magistrate the particular and specific person or property to be searched and any person or property to be seized.

This is called the particularity requirement. Generally, the street address of your house or the apartment number will be used; or a detailed description of you will be used if the warrant is for your body. It must also state that the warrant will be executed within 10 days and that it will be executed during the "daytime" - which generally is from 6 A.M. to 10 P.M. - unless the magistrate authorizes a different time.

If they had a search warrant for John Collins’ apartment at 114 1/2 Benedict Ave then it would have been listed right on the search warrant. If they didn't then it was an illegal search, plain and simple. Under the "exclusionary rule" and the "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine, any evidence that's obtained through an illegal search or seizure can't be used against you in court.

Warrants clearly state on them the address and what they are looking for. They have to, by law, contain this information. If not the defendant can have the courts state on what grounds the warrant was issued for execution. If the attorney can prove that their was no grounds for the warrant to be issued in the first place then the evidence collect will be dismissed. That is why it is so important to follow the book on this. If not people that are abusing the system are no worse than the ones abusing the drugs and both will run free.

If Mr. Collins address is not on the warrant then he should not have been involved in this. His property should be replaced and a public apology should be offered. If not then one of his 10 attorneys and the ACLU will probably end up making someone pay. Sadly enough, it will only hurt the taxpayer.

Disclaimer: The information provided on here is not legal advice, jakemac25 is not a lawyer or a lawyer referral service, (just someone who cares about Huron County with a computer) and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or should be formed by use of the site.


They said the warrant was for Collins. They went next door and we're LET IN. What is so hard about reading comprehension? If Collins had drugs illegally, and the warrant in question has his name and address on it, and they went next door and we're let in.....what's the big issue? If he did have illegal drugs in his possession or paraphernalia, he is going down and has zero right to complain about anything. I still say he's guilty and I think they knew exactly where they were raiding.




There are no problems. I was just stating what the procedure for this was and if they DIDN'T have his address on the warrant then they shouldn't have done this to him. I wasn't saying Collins was innocent of anything or that his neighbors are, it sounds like the whole building has/have had drug problems. The only point I was trying to make is that the HCSO needs to make sure it is following the law when doing these things. If not then people will have cases against them and it will only cause more problems in this area. According to Cary Ashby, not Dane, the HCSO went to Collins residence. Dane never said on record the warrant was issued for that address. Dane was only record stating what it was for (from what I gathered from the article). That is why I was stating what I was about the address. I wish they would have just put down, "Dane said it was for this address on this date for this reason." I think the paper leaves stuff like that off so we can fill in the blanks and assume.


i know you were hating on me yesterday, but i really like your comment. people are on here just making up things and calling them facts. obviously the warrant had this guys address and name on it...hes a fake, and then tried to play the typical junkie game and snitch, only that backfired on him because there was already an indictment on these people


I told you to's all in fun for me. I just love how people don't need evidence to come to a verdict.


im relaxed...its the same for me..i like to get people going and talking about things...maybe get them steered in a new direction...i know i go on sometimes with huge posts but read might find out we can be friends, and you might agree with some of it....i apologize for the name immature


Maybe Howard's days of making up charges and calling the newspapers to ride along each time are over. I'm surprised he doesn't call the paper to let them know when he's using bathroom. I'm all for getting drugs off the streets, but we still have laws in place to protect us from abuse of power and he doesn't seem to care. His dog and pony show finally back fired on him.




According to the first article the hsco was looking for someone and did not find that person to apprehend. Not to mention the person they were looking for is related to the Papps. Now in this article they were aware of drug activity and suspected drug addicts had been going in and out. Which is it? While they were in Mr Collins apartment an informant told them there were secret indictments on the people next door. Now Mr Collins told them about the people next door. According to the sheriff's office one person was arrested and THEY posted bond. I can't keep all the lies straight.


Exactly! All the information we have, is from a reporter and a junkie! Stories change......I'm very interested to see what drugs the "clean for 7 months guy" had in his home. His mom is gonna be ticked off that shes been supporting him and he wasn't clean.


What we have going on here, is the media pushing a story. It's on a smaller scale, but no different than the O.J. case, or Casey Anthony, or George Zimmerman. The media puts out the information that sells papers and generates comments. Everyone has made a decision on who's right, and who's wrong, without seeing a single shred of evidence. It's a junkies word against law enforcements word. I will tend to believe the cops because junkies are garbage. Let's wait until the evidence is presented. If law enforcement screwed up, you can bet some scumbag lawyer will take the case and bring it to light. If he's screwed, he'll end up with a court appointed attorney.


Unless his mommy buys his legal representation as well as pay for everything else he has.


There is proof that they were advised beforehand that they had the wrong location. Proof. This is only one incident that has been brought to light.

2016 cannot come soon enough for me; The quotes in this article alone will aid whomever will run against Howard.


I haven't seen a bit of proof on here at all. Where did you see that?


Text Messages


Lmfao.....well good grief.


REALLY....come on are we supposed to believe that...what officer showed you the text, thats what i want to know