Sheriff releases text between detectives about drug warrant

Howard: "Text messages clearly show that detectives with the Norwalk Police Department took part in that warrant that day."
Cary Ashby
Apr 30, 2014


Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard has released the text correspondence between one of his detectives and a Norwalk police detective before deputies used a warrant at a Benedict Avenue residence.

The text messages between sheriff's Detective Kayla Zander and police Detective Sgt. Jim Fulton happened before deputies used a search warrant signed by Huron County Juvenile and Probate Court Judge Timothy Cardwell. Norwalk police didn't participate in the March 25 raid.

Fulton has alleged it was a bad warrant at a Benedict Avenue triplex.

Howard told the Reflector on Monday a special investigator with the Holmes County Sheriff's Office "has found no wrongdoing on the parts of the detectives." In fact, Howard said there was no conversation between "my detectives and police personnel" in which Norwalk police reportedly warned Zander "about a bad search warrant" -- as alleged in a recent media report -- before the Benedict Avenue incident.

Also, the sheriff said it's obvious from the texts between Zander and Fulton that Fulton and possibly another Norwalk police detective planned on participating in the warrant just moments before the incident.

"I have released copies of the text messages of Detective (Kayla) Zander's cell phone. The text messages clearly show that detectives with the Norwalk Police Department took part in that warrant that day," Howard said.

The following is the full text, which Zander showed to the Reflector via her cell phone Monday morning. The sheriff authorized her to do so and then at the request of the Reflector, provided copies of the following correspondence:

Monday, March 24, 12:17 p.m.:

Zander: "Hey we are changing time to evening. You guys be back by then?"

Fulton: "Probably will be."

Zander: "You still want me to call coney?"

(Editor's note: "Coney" refers to police Capt. Mike Conney.)

Fulton: "This is a two day class supposes to be done earlier tomorrow."

Zander: "Want me to call coney?"

Fulton: "Just give him a heads of you have time."

Zander: "Ok. Thanks Fulton."

Tuesday, March 25, 5:18 p.m.:

Zander: "What time will you two be back?"

Fulton: "Back are you still hitting that place."

Zander: "Yea meet at so at 630."

Fulton: "Ok."

Fulton: "Not sure if we are going to make it. We are following a car that may be on a dope run. If you need more guys we can have someone from the Shift go."

Zander: "Ok I'll let you know thanks and good luck."

Fulton: "You too. Be safe. I will call you later."



well lets get back to talking about the high integrity of the NPD chief like we were yesterday

shovelhead's picture

Just looks like there was good communication between the two departments before the rights violation. The Norwalk police department is probably glad they were not involved with the bad raid. Nobody cares that they were GOING to be there. The fact remains that Norwalk was not there, period.

This is great. Now release all the stuff that happened AFTER the raid. Then we get to find out where all of the bad blood came from.

JMOP's picture

The point I think was that Light said they ordered a Stand Down. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought they said they knew it was a bad warrant a week prior. That would conflict Lights version.

shovelhead's picture

I see.

JMOP's picture

My apologies Shovel. I get a bit confused when reading in the Sandusky Register and Norwalk Reflector.

It was the Register that reported what Fulton said and did:
"Huron County sheriff’s detectives knew they were busting through the wrong door.

They knew it but chose to ignore a fellow law enforcement officer’s warning.

It was a bad search warrant for a triplex home on Benedict Avenue, according to Norwalk police detective Jim Fulton.

Sheriff asked to stand down

Fulton told them more than 24 hours before eight deputies stormed into John Collins’ small apartment — at 114½ Benedict Ave. — cuffed him and forced him face-down to the floor of his home.

They left him there for about 20 minutes while they ransacked his belongings.

Norwalk police didn’t participate in the raid on March 25 and told the Huron County Sheriff’s Office to stand down, according to documents from the police department."

Though it does seem Fulton was trying to make an excuse not to go because of class, then the next day he makes an excuse not to go because he's following a "Dope car".

JMOP's picture

The Papps did say there were two police officers from Norwalk there. They said that in the very beginning, and it serves no purpose from them to lie.

Isn't there a log that documents where each officer is, including the date and time? Can't it be settled by looking it up?


My guess is the sheriff's report stated there were two NPD officers there. The Reflector was simply reporting what they were given.


i though i read in the report that one Norwalk police cruiser was parked on water street and another Norwalk police cruiser was parked in the tanning salon's parking lot


Both locations are in the city. Why would it be odd for cruisers to be there? Did NPD obtain the warrant and kick in the door?


Only an outside investigation will settle this because, now they are both covering butts. Very sad!

I Can Read

This is insulting to all city and county residents!


Completely agree. Both the Sheriff and the Police Chief need to step down.

shovelhead's picture

Sure is a lot of "irregularities" in Huron & Sandusky counties. DeWine will probably have our water tested over this one.

JMOP's picture

Agree. Dewine might as well live here and save time and money. All the corruption around here should keep him pretty busy.


The most pathetic thing is nobody calling out Ashby for trying to drum up comments


I'm pretty sure at this point the guy has zero credibility anyways. Not only that but if you ever saw the guy you would feel sorry for him and just be glad he can operate a computer without public tax dollars being involved.


I've been following this all very close and if an outside investigation took place, I honestly feel that it wouldn't matter. The warrant has been sent to the moon and now its a mud slinging contest. What needs to be realized is that not once has the Sheriff's Department admitted any wrong doing. NONE. That's not leadership, that's not having integrity and that's not helping any one in Huron Co. feel any safer.

Bottom line is that since The Great Dane took office its been problem after problem after problem. Money issues, jail issues, now fighting with the local departments. That all equals one thing, a lack of leadership. A true leader knows when its time to lead and when its time to step down and let others lead. It's time for Dane to step down. He's failed going after the heroin dealers and now is resorting to kicking in the doors of a pothead for a couple pipes (Illegally and has now gone national). That shows weakness. He knows he can't make the big bust so he goes after people he knows he can bust for mediocre things. Which wouldn't be a problem except that a lot of money goes into an investigation and extra officers need to be called in and so on. It's a lot of money for a $300 pipe fine.

And to squash all of this is as simple as producing the original search warrant. But Dane won't, he's trying to distract everyone with a text message. Isn't that the oldest trick in the book? "Looketh over there". I don't know what the answer is, right now, but I do know that Dane needs to go. I bet a lot of these problems would go away also and some much needed and more important drug bust will take place instead.


I seen nothing in those text messages that showed that the NPD was there. If anything it looked like they were doing there best not to be there. This whole thing was pointless, it proves nothing! I guess I don't see the point of this story.

JMOP's picture

It never says the NPD were there, but Fulton did offer his men if they needed assistance.

My opinion they're all lying.


All I see is a bunch of Drama Queen crybabies instead of men and women that are supposed to serve and protect.

J Cooper

Bottom line what department went to the wrong apartment, trumped up charges to cover their butt, and attempted to deflect attention from their unlawful actions and has done nothing but lie since then answer, The Huron County Sheriffs Department. My guess is that the sheriff was selective in what he released to cover his ample butt.


Did an officer from NPd swear before the judge to obtain the search warrant?

Did an NPD officer kick in the door?

Did an NPD officer cuff the guy?

Did an NPD officer seize any evidence?

Who cares if they were on the sidewalk or across the street. The SO obtained and served the warrant.

What is Howard trying to do? Deflect, deny and counter accuse


THANK you. You're absolutely right. This is the Sheriffs mistake and he needs to take the blame.


Has anyone from the Reflector check with the commissioners on this issue? I'd be interested to see what they had to say.

J Cooper

The commissioners, you got to be kidding, one of them receives a trumped up award from the sheriff to help his last campaign to be elected commissioner, and had been the the worse sheriff this county ever had, now passing that honor on to his bud the present sheriff.


I'd still like to get him on record.. If you know what I'm say'n, along with the other two.


Give this more time. Willing to bet as months go by there will be more. His record is not the greatest. He angered & maneuvered some of the excellent people in L.E.


These texts show that they knew about the raid- not that they participated. In fact it proves they didn't participate. Dane- take responsibility for your mistake like a professional. Your childish games hurt everyone.