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.”



I can tell them anything I want before hand. Who's name was on the warrant! That is the main question here, and the only thing that matters. I don't care if he had 25 lbs of crack, if they illegally searched his home, they deserve to be punished.

Seen it All

The only way to clear the air now is to PRODUCE the search warrant! I do not like how drugs have taken over the area any more than the next guy, but I want to know I can sit in my living room and watch TV without fear of law enforcement breaking down my door and holding me at gunpoint because they think they have a search warrant for my home.


EXACTLY! There will have to be EVIDENCE to prove either one wrong. If the Sheriff won't produce his EVIDENCE to prove the officers innocence, I will side with Collins. If they had HIS name on it.......well he's effed!


What PROOF or protections are in place to prevent tampering with the original Warrant? In other words, what is stopping the Judge/Sheriff or powers to be from chaning an address? Matt brought up great points of concern in his opinioned editorial, WHY THE GAG order if the people were arrested? WHY the wrong address, making the search nothing less than Breaking and Entry and KIDNAPPING?

I do NOT trust what the authorities have or will tell us. When they open their mouths they mock the oaths they took.


YOU BETTER RELEASE A COPY OF THAT WARRANT SOON MR. SHERIFF! Where's Collins copy of the warrant? They have to leave a copy there with him don't they? What's his copy say?


Ahh yes, the truth comes out. This guys story seemed to have hooked the Register with his lies. So a junkie tells the other paper he is clean. The HCSO know there are junkies coming and going from his residence and they find paraphernalia. This guy, knowing he is now in trouble decides to snitch on his neighbors. The guy then tells the Register that he has to stay at his moms at night because he is afraid of the police. We now know this is BS, he snitched and is worried the people he snitched on will come after him. Goes to show ya, there's no honor among thieves and the Register in their effort to trash yet another Law Enforcement agency now has egg on their face. LOL.


KnuckleDragger I'm surprised the NR has not deleted your post for possible slander. Regardless, it will take this man hiring a very good out-of-area lawyer to get to the truth. You are wrong. The Sheriff's Office made a CHOICE after being warned. Unfortunately, once again, the Huron County taxpayer will cough up for their(his) mistake(s).


What was I wrong about? Collins is going to be charged, and its apparent that he was lying. Ever notice when these junkies get busted they are quick to snitch. Collins thought he could worm his way out of trouble by snitching on his neighbors.

From the article:

"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."





This whole story is so messed up!! I think there is a lot Of shady business going on in both parties the sheriff department and this "innocent" victim.

yogi bear

The big thing the "almighty" Dane is sidestepping is the fact the warrant did not name Collins because he was not the person they were looking for. The warrant named a male they thought lived there. When they got there they mistakenly thought Collins was the male they wanted. It took a while for Collins to convince them he was not the person they wanted. Then they asked the judge to seal the warrant to hide the name of the person named in the warrant. The warrant may have been for the right address but the person they thought lived there doesn't live there.


That actually makes sense. How long was Collins living at the address, and how long ago did said person that they wanted move out of that address? Did he EVER live at that address? Did he live there with Collins at one point?


ok i must have missed something...where is the copy of this warrant, i want to see it...everyone is so sure what it said but yet i have not seen anything with names...please direct me to it so i can agree with you...i think you guys are making stuff up as you go

yogi bear

I'm pretty confident I know much more about this that you do. just wait to see what shakes out of this.


Doesn't the NPD and the HCSO know it's easier to tell the truth(since it don't change) than a lie,How many of us heard from our parents If you tell one lie , then you have to tell another lie to cover that lie,and on an on. wouldn't it be easier to just say...OK WE MADE A MISTAKE, WE APOLOGIZE TO YOU MR COLLINS FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE WE CAUSED YOU, AND WILL REPLACE WHAT WE CAN THAT WAS BROKE IN THE SEARCH. We as a community do hold law enforcement officials to a higher standard, regarding the law,but we don't think you are perfect, and we know mistakes will be made.But at least own your mistakes, and have enough butt in your britches to admit when you make one. Don't lie to us now, cause when you need us to believe you, we will be skeptical and doubt you.And right now nothing you all have said makes any kind of sense.

Really are you ...

Don't say your sorry. It shows signs of weakness.


Finding two marijuana pipes must have been pretty disappointing for hsco considering all the suspected drug activity they claim was going on there. Two pipes hardly means this guy is using again.

Really are you ...

Yeah, he held on to them to remind himself of his sobriety along with his apps.


Lmao....they're trophies


I don't care if he is guilty or not. Did they really need to handcuff him and break his stuff? He posed no threat. Using unnecessary force and disregard for property is not acceptable. AGAIN - he was handcuffed and told to shut up when he asked questions. If he is having his home searched - they should give him an answer as to why. Handcuffing someone and telling them to shut up before they found anything and/or provided an explanation is ridiculous. The Reflector is actually on the right track - this is the second story I have seen in the past couple of weeks that is telling the community more than just law enforcements side of things and showing how law enforcement bullies citizens. Right, wrong or indifferent - we are entitled to our rights!


Yes they absolutely should have handcuffed him. They ALWAYS secure the scene. It's standard procedure, the cops have families that expect them to come home at night. The only person who says they told him to shut up is the "victim?"

yogi bear

"Sheriff stands by deputies in raid dispute" Dane typically stands by his people until either one of two things; He cuts his losses/tie with the employee to save himself or he cuts ties because they no longer back him


After the waders are put on and someone goes thru all the crap, the crux of the issue will still have to be weighted in. Was the fourth amendment of the constitution violated in this case, Was someones right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures breached.People scare me, because most can be distracted from the central issue all to easily,and while distracted one of our constitutional rights slips away, I don't care what Mr. Collins is or is not, all I care about is that the right to a proper search and seizure was followed,because if we let it happen to him, it will happen to us, I may not like what you have to say, but I will stand by your right to say it, so that I may always have that right myself of freedom of speech.


Well said. I could care less about the individual or crime (in almost any case - because I am not a criminal). I do care about our constitutional rights. I prefer to keep mine and not live in a Police State, or in a country where the police can bully citizens, beat them, or take away their rights! I am expected to pay taxes and in return I expect my constitutional rights to be honored.


I agree. I would like to see evidence presented. All the other hoopla means nothing. Was it a legit raid? <------Simple enough

Dr. Information

All the so called forum detectives out that have no clue. Great job LE, keep busting these losers.


seen it all is right thats what we have to protect against,and even worse would would be a 4am kickdown


The daily comics !


I'm tired of everyone calling him a junkie! He's clean and he has the app to prove it!!!