Woman sent to prison for jail-related overdose

Cary Ashby • Aug 9, 2017 at 9:00 PM

An area woman was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday for her role in a jail-related overdose.

Michele C. Pfaff, 23, of North Ridgeville, faced up to eight years behind bars. Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Bambi Couch said the three-year sentence was part of an agreement with public defender David Longo.

In July, Pfaff pleaded guilty to corrupting another with drugs.

Huron County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Bill Duncan investigated the Feb. 6 incident.

“She (Pfaff) conveyed fentanyl into the Huron County Jail and gave it to another inmate. That inmate overdosed and was sent to the hospital, having had a seizure and was not breathing,” Couch said.

The other inmate, who spent the night at Fisher-Titus Medical Center, survived the overdose.

The state Highway Patrol transported Pfaff to the jail Feb. 3. Duncan, who investigated the case, said there was enough time for the defendant to “make the conscious decision” to hide the fentanyl inside her body during the traffic stop, but it’s unknown whether that was for the purpose of concealment or bringing drugs to the jail.

“There were three female inmates in that cell,” added the detective, referring to when Pfaff produced the pills from her body.

Couch was asked if Pfaff has a previous felony conviction. The prosecutor said the defendant was involved in the 2014 overdose death of a person in Cuyahoga County. 

In a plea hearing Tuesday, a Norwalk drug dealer agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors.

Shawn A. Thomas, 40, of 42 W. Washington St., pleaded guilty Tuesday to trafficking in heroin. The fourth-degree felony comes with a forfeiture specification, meaning he could forfeit a gold 2010 Chevrolet Malibu to the state.

The Norwalk Police Department coordinated the April 7 controlled drug buy, according to court records.

As part of Tuesday’s plea deal, prosecutors dismissed one count of aggravated trafficking in fentanyl, which also came with a forfeiture specification. 

Thomas, who has posted a $15,000 bond, will be sentenced Sept. 20. He is subject to random drug screens and is prohibited from using or possessing drugs.

In a separate case Wednesday, Charles D. Reuer, 58, most recently of 223 Woodbine St., Willard, was sentenced to 60 days of discretionary jail time for two counts of trafficking in marijuana. His probation officer has the option of when to impose part or all of the sentence at any time without a hearing.

Also as part of his three years of probation,Reuer was fined $250 and must reimburse the Willard Police Department $110 for drug analysis. On June 20, he pleaded guilty to the two two counts of trafficking in marijuana in exchange for prosecutors dismissing a third, similar charge.

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