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Huron County ‘flop house’ shut down

Jessica Cuffman • Aug 27, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Huron County law enforcement on Monday shut down what they say was a “flop house” in Willard, following a monthlong investigation into suspected heroin use at the home.

Spurred by complaints from residents in the neighborhood, officers conducted successful drug buys at the home. They then obtained a warrant and searched the home Monday, Huron County Chief Deputy Ted Patrick said.

Officers from the county’s drug task force served the warrant just after 2 p.m. The home is in the 700 block of Park St.

Arrested for possession of heroin: Matthew Sweet, 56, who lives there, and Brandi Thornton, 22, of the 500 block of Lakeshore Drive in Willard.

Police also arrested Scott Bivens, 44, of North Fairfield, on a warrant for failure to pay child support.

Police said they collected evidence of a drug use in the home, including nine bindles of tar heroin and a cellophane pack with a small amount of powdered heroin. They also seized more than 60 syringes, as well as tie-off straps, two bottles of prescription medication without labels and $675 cash.

Three other adults who were in the home were not arrested, but they could be charged later, Patrick said.

“Some of them had literally shot up some heroin just prior to our arrival,” he said. “People in the neighborhood had complained of a constant flow of people visiting the home for short periods of time. They had a pretty strong feeling it was a drug house. And they were right.”

With so many people coming and going at the home — and as many as 15 people staying there at one time — it’s hard to determine who the permanent residents were besides Sweet, Patrick said.

“With the citizens’ help we were able to make those arrests and, hopefully, that helps their neighborhood,” he said.

Late Wednesday, Sweet remained in the Huron County jail on $10,000 bond. Thornton is in jail on $5,000 bond.

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