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Man in botched drug raid charged

Courtney Astolfi • May 20, 2014 at 10:13 AM

A Norwalk man who was on the receiving end of a bad search warrant in March was arrested Thursday for alleged contraband seized in the botched raid.

John Collins, 26, of 114 ½ Benedict Ave., was charged with one count of cocaine possession, a fifth-degree felony.

Huron County Chief Deputy Ted Patrick and two deputies went to Collins’ home and arrested him on the charge Thursday morning, Collins said.

Click HERE for a history of stories about the botched raid

Lt. Chris Stanfield later told Collins the drug charge stemmed from cocaine residue allegedly found in a marijuana pipe deputies confiscated from Collins’ home March 25, Collins said.    

Other law enforcement officials in Huron County pointed out that it would be highly unusual for someone to smoke crack or cocaine out of a marijuana pipe.

When deputies arrived at Collins’ home Thursday to serve the possession warrant, he asked Patrick, on a whim, if he could kiss his girlfriend goodbye.

“He said, ‘No, you can shut the (expletive) up and get in the car’” Collins said.

Deputies hauled him to the Huron County jail. 

“You could feel the animosity in the air,” Collins said. “I was thinking, ‘I’ve got to watch my P’s and Q’s or else they might do something’”

Collins’ bond was later set at $5,000. His attorney had asked for a 10 percent bond release stipulation, but that was denied, Collins said.

Collins’ mother, Joyce Collins, called the jail after the hearing to inquire about visitation and phone calls.

“(Major Mike) Cooksey told me (Sheriff Dane) Howard has decided due to a conflict of interest that we’re going to transfer him to Ashland County” Joyce said.

Collins was also told he was going to be transferred.

Jail staff got out handcuffs and a belt shackle — restraints typically used for transport — and readied Collins for departure.

But at the last second, Collins said, his mother secured a bondsman and he was able to post bail before he was transferred.

Collins is now slated for a preliminary hearing next week regarding the cocaine possession charge, Collins said.

The pipe the alleged cocaine was discovered on was seized March 25, after deputies executed a search warrant at Collins’ 114 ½ Benedict Ave. address.

According to the warrant affidavit, deputies were there to search for Rob Hendricks — whose mother lives next door to Collins — and evidence of heroin and pill trafficking.

But deputies did not locate Hendricks, heroin or pills in Collins’ apartment.

Norwalk police Detective Jim Fulton warned Deputy Kayla Zander her department had the wrong address about 24 hours before deputies executed the warrant, but they proceeded to do so despite his cautions, according to internal Norwalk police documentsobtained by the Register through a public records request.

Sheriff Howard later released copies of text messages Fulton and Zander exchanged, but failed to include four pivotal texts that showed deputies knew they had the wrong address.

Howard has repeatedly failed to comply with public records requests regarding the incident, and it remains unclear if he will comply in the future.

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