Suspect, sheriff, NPD take turns choosing seized vehicles

Choosing vehicles was the name of the game Thursday afternoon in the parking lot of the Huron County Sheriff's Office. To be more accurate, it was the culmination of a deal between Willard defendant Jose E. Hernandez's attorney and Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler. Hernandez chose a vehicle, followed by Sheriff Richard Sutherland and then the Norwalk Police Department, represented by Officer Seth Fry, until all 31 vehicles were dispersed.
Cary Ashby
Jul 25, 2010


Choosing vehicles was the name of the game Thursday afternoon in the parking lot of the Huron County Sheriff's Office.

To be more accurate, it was the culmination of a deal between Willard defendant Jose E. Hernandez's attorney and Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler. Hernandez chose a vehicle, followed by Sheriff Richard Sutherland and then the Norwalk Police Department, represented by Officer Seth Fry, until all 31 vehicles were dispersed.

"My attorney talked to him (Leffler) and they made this deal," Hernandez said before the process started.

"He's going to get dibs on the first vehicle he wants," Sutherland also said beforehand. "This is a first time deal for us."

Authorities seized the vehicles, 200 car titles and about $24,000 in cash when they used two search warrants simultaneously Sept. 5 at Hernandez's home and Townline Road 12.

Hernandez, 36, of 24 Motson St., was sentenced March 7 to three years of probation and fined $3,000 for three misdemeanor counts of attempted transfer of motor vehicles without a certificate title. The court suspended a six-month jail term.

He faces a May 6 trial on two counts of prohibition of incomplete, false and fraudulent returns, both fifth-degree felonies. Leffler said the court "is about to place him on diversion" in connection with failing to file tax returns for two years.

Before the vehicle disbursement, Sutherland contacted Huron County Commissioner Ralph Fegley and Carl Essex of the Huron County Engineer and Highway Department. The sheriff chose vehicles for his office and several county agencies to possibly use. The commissioners started evaluating when and how to replace various vehicles with high mileage and maintenance costs this year.

"It's been on the back-burner for a couple years," Sutherland said.

Essex, the county engineer's assistant, called Thursday's arrangement "one of the oddest settlements of a criminal case ever experienced in Huron County" in an e-mail message.

Sutherland ultimately chose about five cars with the rest being pickup trucks and vans.

The sheriff estimated about half of the vehicles he acquired Thursday are in good condition. He explained that some have "motors that have seized up" while others won't start.

"They are such an eye sore," Sutherland said.

"I know there are vehicles out there that aren't worth anything. They'll be taken to the junkyard and sold," the sheriff continued. "That money will be turned over to the general fund."

Hernandez described how he acquired the vehicles, which have been parked at the sheriff's office since mid-September.

"I was working with a guy with a license. He didn't fill out the right forms. He tricked me. He made me believe I could sell and buy vehicles," he said.

Investigators, in mid-September, accused Hernandez of buying multiple vehicles illegally using other people's names without their permission. On Thursday, Hernandez said he didn't intend to avoid "doing the proper thing."

Leffler said the vehicle disbursement may have to be redone because he gave "specific instructions" in open court about Hernandez and authorities getting a 50/50 split.



I can think of a good way to disburse some of these vehicles if they are being given away. There are a lot of single parent,low income ladies with children, who could use a car. How 'bout it Sheriff? Be a humanitarian with seized vehicles.


How can this be legal? Shouldn't the cars have been auctioned off and the money gone to the areas of the county that need money instead of asking for taxes to be raised. This feels like taking from the evidence room and trying to make it legal.

Dave Rimmer, Li...

The police here in the UK have regular stop and search campaigns to remove illegal cars of the roads (no road tax, no insurance and unroadworthy vehicles). No if`s or but`s as excuses the cars are sent straight to be crushed, even expensive vehicles if they are illegal.

swiss family

"babyboomer" please let me make sure that i understand your math..

you are saying now that on top of the free medical service that the county provides for single, low income ladies with children, and on top of all of the free milk, cheese, and cereal, that the county provides to your child, which we all know, that you and others eat as well,in addition to all of that, plus on top of financial help for your housing.. you think that it would be, or should be, a consideration to also give you a car?????? are you kidding me!!! why should anyone provide anything for these irresponsible women, who produce children, like "pez" dispensers, with no responsibility for the provision of their care!!!

you see, in the real world.. people look at their finances first, then decide if they can afford children, and still pay their bills, including their rent/mortgage.. utilities..transportation.. etc.. but i guess in your world, you just keep having kids.. and expect everyone else to pay for you to raise them, and might i add, that you probably do a pretty lousy job of doing that as well...

i would suggest that instead of looking for your next hand out for a vehicle.. why don't you stand in line for birth control?? that way we wouldn't have to keep giving you more and more.. and at the same time, instead of being appreciative for what we are giving you, you are trying to figure out how you can take more!!!!!!


swiss family... i totaly agree with you. why should us WORKING" people keep GIVING to the ones who opt to live off the welfare system. when my car stops working, i either put more money into fixing it or BUYING a different one. i too am sick and tired of giving to these losers!!!


Those vehicles most definitely should be sold at auction. This definitely sounds illegal. Only in Huron County can it be legal to take evidence and do whatever you want with it. Unbelievable. I wonder what would happen if the state attorney generals office found out what you thieves are doing. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves!

David Deerest.

So, once again, I don't see where babyboomer said they wanted the car specifically for them. Where does it say that? I think they were referring to an idea they had, the right thing to do as a suggestion. Swiss, why do you put words in people's mouth?


Well swiss, I guess you found out all about me didn't you? So I may as well reveal myself.

I am the Chapter President of the PWMA,Professional Welfare Mothers of America, for those of you who aren't in the know. Let me tell you a little about what our organization does. At the first of the month (payday..heh,heh),we meet at this fabulous restaurant and resort,you know,so the kiddies,all 10 of mine,can play while we meet in the banquet room and feast on prime rib (all paid for by the taxpayers of course)and we make decisions and plans such as, at our last meeting the topic was, "How TO Cheat The Taxpayers Out Of Their Hard Earned Dollars And Become A Millionaire." We also discuss topics such as "Know Your WIC Neighbors,(free food is closer than you think!)" and last but not least,"Never Ask Anybody For A Ride Again" we'll get the Sheriff to supply us with new cars! NEW!

So now you know!

On the other hand,I'm ashamed to know that there are people out there that have so much more than poor people that kick them when someone throws them a crumb. You're ready to pounce on them with your claws bared. So much for brotherly love.

swiss family

to"babyboomer" thank you for proving my point for me.. you, by your own statement, have shown everyone exaactly how little you appreciate what you are already given from the working class, and how you expect to be given more!!

you call what you are already given a "crumb" how dare you.. you get free medical service!! ask anyone who works , how much they have to pay out of their own hard erned checks every week, month, or year.. so you can just sit back and be given this free luxury, at our expense!! you are also given free food, through the WIC program, which gives the illusion that they(we) are supplying you and your kids with bread, cheese and milk, so you can keep your childrens bones strong, by giving them calcium.. and we are probably giving you free food, as in food stamps.. to make sure that you can buy your steak and pop and chips..and candy.. and selling your excess stamps so you can buy your cigarettes, and beer!!!what a great system !!!

you probably get gov. subsidised housing, and utilities.. so we can keep your lazy but warm and comfortable, while you watch tv all day, waiting for your friends who are actually working to get home!!and you have the nerve to call all of this support and help "CRUMBS" !!! HOW DARE YOU...

then you say that you "are ashamed" to know that there are people out there who have so much more than poor people.. well darling, it's time for a reality check.. how do you think that these people got to have so much more than the "poor people" they EARNED it, by working at a job !!!i know that , that is an idea that is foriegn to you.. but in case you never noticed.. people get jobs, to earn money, then they decide what they can afford by their income, how many children they can pay for, and what size and type of house, car, college , school, clothes etc, they can afford, and if they can't afford their children, they get better jobs, or more working hours to pay for what they have!!!please remember that the next time you get the chance to "lay down" with the neighbor boy.. that sometimes there are consequences for your actions.. like babies being born.. so if you can't afford to raise them on your own.. go take a cold shower, and save all of us some money..!!

you also ask" where is the brotherly love?" well i am full of brotherly love, but not in your direction.. i have an awful lot of compassion for your many kids, who are going to have to endure a lifetime of low motivation, and begging for handouts, and sitting in the welfare office to get their fair share, because Mom and Dad had no plan for their lives, and decided that "if it feels good... do it" without ever thinking, or wondering who was going to pay!!! and you call that "CRUMBS" i would suggest that you do two things.. 1. get a job, and 2. keep your legs together.. we can't afford much more .. not even a free car!!!

Dave Rimmer, Li...

What a load of old codswallop. Go and get yourself checked out for alzheimer's.


swiss!! You are just dying to fight with someone on here aren't you!LOL! After reading the other people's posts,I must be your newest victim.LOL! That took a lot of energy to write your latest post on me. Whatever! I admitted to nothing in the first place. You assumed I am on welfare merely by a suggestion I made. You are not someone that I want to get to know. You like to hurt people. I'm not going to give you the opportunity to twist my words. You can be ignored you know. I personally want to read posts from people who can make an intelligent point or observation relating to the topic, not personal attacks.

Say what you want about me, I know who I am and what I'm about. I don't need you to verify that for me. Oh! and by the way, my pregnancy test came back and I'm going to be a mother again! Number 11 I believe! Congratulate me! Well, swiss,it's been real. Keep on 'em about those welfare babies,thank goodness we have you to keep everybody in check. Time to take my cold shower (twice today!) and get on that sofa and watch a little tv as it's almost time for my best friend to get off work! Have a nice day!


djrimmer: old codswallop? LOL!! It sounds atrocious! She needs to get checked for AADD (Adult Attention Defecit Disorder) is more like it!

David Deerest.

I only made it through 1 paragraph of the rubbish swiss was spouting off about. I just read DaveR.'s and babyboomer's reply and I got it. Congratulations, Babyboomer! It's a girl? Boy? Either way, it's all yours. DaveR. and I are still recovering from our old wounds, being "spinless simoles" it's a long, slow recovery process. It may take months for us to heal.

right to the point

way to go babyboomer you are right some of these people on here are just wanting drama in their life,they must be bored.but i choose to do like you with the morons, i plan to just ignore them.i do not choose to waste my time and effort on ignorance like described in your second posting go

swiss family

could we all please start up a collection for"babyboomer" she says that she wants a new car...wwaaaaaaaaaa.. why are they giving out cars, and fail to give one to her as she sees fit......wwwaaaaaa!!

even if we were able to get you a car, sweetie, you would still have to pay taxes on it, and pay for gas, oil, and oil changes, and replacing equipment like burned out lights and all , on it.... and insurance.. or do you expect us to take care of all of that for you too???

i just want to make sure that you understand that with car ownership, comes some financial responsibility too, so you don't come crying to us, at some later time, bitching because now you are stuck with this car that you can't afford the upkeep on.. kind of like you are doing with your keep having them, and expect all of us to pay for them...and at that point, you would call the free car.. another"crumb" that we threw your way....wwaaaaa


why not auction off the cars left? i think the general fund will take in more cash then sending them to a scrap yard.there are folks who have mechanical knowledge that maytake those unworthy cars and and make use of them,just a thought.

David Deerest.

Good Lord, swiss. Grow up! What a fool you are.