Update: Warrant, report don’t add up

Huron County officials unsealed a search warrant that a Norwalk man said was unlawfully executed at his Benedict Avenue home. Click to read the search warrant and a brief report from Sheriff Howard that is scant on detail
Courtney Astolfi
Apr 8, 2014


John Collins, 26, of 114 1/2 Benedict Ave., contends Huron County deputies were in fact searching the wrong residence March 25 when they detained him and ransacked his home.

Huron County Chief Deputy Ted Patrick later said Collins’ complaint is simply unfounded.

Huron County Common Pleas Court Judge Timothy Cardwell sealed the search warrant days before it was executed, but on Friday prosecutors unsealed that warrant.

The document, however, is fraught with inconsistencies. It was released from the gag order on Monday. 

Read the search warrant

According to the warrant, authored by Huron County detective Richard Larson, deputies had permission to enter “the residence of Robert Lee Hendricks, 114 ½ Benedict Ave” to search for drugs, paraphernalia and more specifically, oxycodone.

But Hendricks does not live at that address, Collins said. The home is a triplex — Hendricks’ mother lives in the unit next door to Collins.

Deputies learned of alleged drug activity at the residence on March 18, after an anonymous caller reported a man and woman heading to “114 Benedict Ave.” — Hendricks’ mother’s address — to purchase Percocet and heroin from Hendricks, according to the warrant.

Deputies scoped out the residence and “observed Robert Hendricks exit the residence of 114 ½ Benedict Ave.,” the warrant stated. That one line is the only instance in which deputies link Hendricks to Collins’ address.

Collins said Hendricks has been in his home just one time, weeks ago, to ask for the password to his WiFi connection so he could use the Internet.

Deputies watched as an SUV pulled into a shared driveway behind the triplex, then pulled out a minute or two later. When they stopped the vehicle on Northwest Street, the occupants admitted buying Percocet from Hendricks, and they later identified him in a photo lineup, the warrant stated.

Every reference the anonymous caller made about Hendricks’ address was 114 Benedict Ave., according to the warrant.

A Huron County sheriff's report released Tuesday provides little information about what occurred when the warrant was served. It contains fewer than 115 words and provides no description of what occurred, nor does it address the allegations made by COllins that deputies searched the wrong home and detained the wrong man. 

Read the brief report

When deputies executed the warrant March 25, Collins was alone in his apartment. They ordered him to the ground at gunpoint and handcuffed him, leaving him cuffed for about 20 minutes as they searched the home, Collins said.

Collins said deputies never gave him a copy of the search warrant, which Ohio law would require. The warrant itself states: “A copy of this warrant and receipt of property taken will be left at the place of execution or given to the person from whom or from whose premises the property was taken”

Deputies seized two marijuana pipes, and they issued Collins a property seizure receipt, then left without charging him.

Deputies then walked next door to 114 Benedict Ave., where they arrested Hendrick’s mother, Patricia Papp and her other son, Thomas Papp, on drug trafficking warrants issued earlier this year, Patrick said.

Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard has yet to respond to public records requests the Register sent to him and his employees on March 27 and April 1, seeking material and multiple documents connected to the case.

Last week, Howard said he was working on the request and hoped to fulfill it soon. He did not return a call Monday afternoon seeking an update. It's not clear whether the report that was provided Tuesday — which provided no information of any substantive nature — represents his response to the request, which was detailed and specific. 

Note: This article has been modified to correct information about the warrants for Patricia Papp and Thomas Papp. Those warrants were filed earlier this year. 


yea right

cops will not admit they screwed up is all..sue them

Peninsula Pundit

Even to the layman,there are obvious problems with this search.
Many posters are quick to point out that Mr. Collins has a past and, in their opinion, no longer qualifies for all the rights of citizenship in America.
Conversely, the position of law enforcement has many encumbrances placed upon it to assure the rights of any Americans the police may encounter on a daily basis are respected.
Thus, irregardless of one's opinion of Mr. Collins, the behavior of the police in this instance is fraught with enough malfeasance and error that the police become the primary offenders against many citizens legal and constitutional rights.
On the face of it, the address they entered is not the one on the warrant. They recognized their mistake and did not immediately rectify it. The police are required by law to report fully on their actions and refuse to do so. The basis of the search, an anonymous call consisting of two sentences, is specious, at best. Even then, the police broke down the door of a residence other than the one cited in the call. The police had to realize the search papers were defective due to an inaccurate address, but they barged in anyway.
The police are defenseless and indefensible in this instance.


So true - "Many posters are quick to point out that Mr. Collins has a past and, in their opinion, no longer qualifies for all the rights of citizenship in America."

It will be interesting to see the outcome of this. That report is ridiculous.

Random Thoughts

PP, I believe the address they entered was the address listed in the Warrant, 114 1/2 Benedict. A question is whether this was the residence of Mr. Hendricks, and if not, does it legally matter? I don't know. Why they listed it as his residence is beyond me. They should have just put the address down and got the warrant that day and executed it that day, because if he came out of that address just before the sale, I think many people would agree that there would have been probable cause to believe that drugs were present on that day.


Sue sue sue John. Go get your money. Huron county prob should make sure they are correct on their next search warrant or they going to be getting sued a lot.


1) The Search Warrant issued March 21, 2014 states the search must occur within 3 days or March 24, 2014. The search occurred one day later on March 25, 2014.

2) The Detective seized the 2 pipes on March 25, 2014 but didn't sign the inventory and return until April 2, 2014 and it was not filed with the Court until April 4, 2014. He claims under oath that he left a copy of the search warrant and inventory at the residence.

Lots of problems here on the face of the documents without even having to compare the report with the affidavit.

IMO, the Judge is doing a poor job of upholding the law.

Random Thoughts

I'm not sure, Babo, but is the 3 day requirement mean 3 calendar days or 3 working days (weekends excluded)?


Not that it matters much, but the warrant also states it was to occur "during the daytime". According to Det. Larson, it occurred at 2039 p.m. (Like there could be a 2039 a.m.) It looks pretty dark out my windows at 8:39 p.m. this time of year. And really, did he need an extra piece of paper write down 2 glass pipes. I was expecting at least 4 or 5 items to have been taken. What a let down.

Random Thoughts

It appears that the reason the Warrant and the Report don't add up is because the report concerns the arrest of the neighbors at 114 Benedict and not the search at 114 1/2 Benedict.  There should be another separate report concerning the search, but the Sheriff' Office may not be releasing that at this time because of the ongoing investigation which may result in charges (a specific exception to disclosure listed in Ohio's Public Records Laws).


It states that Det. Larson executed the search warrant at 2039 pm. It then states on the inventory sheet,that 2-glass marijuana pipes, were confiscated at 1945 by Det. Larson. So my Question is, how can Det. Larson find and confiscate 2- glass marijuana pipes 54 minutes BEFORE the search warrant was even executed?


the laws need changing.
There is no excuse for this and due to the attitude of the cops and their aggressiveness, the sheriff lying, there should be PUNISHMENT FOR THEM PERSONALLY. Why should the citizens be responsible and the Sheriff and Deputies get no punishment for violating their oaths, KID NAPPING, breaking and entering, and the list goes on!

And what about the Judge, why does he get a free pass, HE AUTHORIZED it.

I would love the Register to do a story on Judges and Warrants, is there ever a time the courts can show where they REFUSED to just put a rubber stamp on what ever cops request?


OH, BTW, there are a few people that owe Matt and the Reporters an apology! I remember one saying Matt was going to have 'egg on his face!" WRONG. The Register is returning into the paper that made it strong, investigative reporting for THE people. Good job!

Little Giant

I hope the Attorney General's Office gets involved with this. The Athens County Sheriff was recently removed for misconduct. Clearly there was a conspiracy and poor police work. When I read this story I was reminded of the cop chasing Benny Hill.

Game time

Haha Collins claimed the Deputies broke stuff at his residence. If you look closely it appears his house is nothing but clutter. I don't believe a word this drug addict says.


Im really glad half of the people commenting on thos article are not is any position of power in huron county or any surrounding county. Most of you can not even read for comprehension. Read the warrant. His address was listed. He had 2 marijuana pipes(drug paraphanalia). He'll get charged. Im glad. Do you really believe the drug dealer came and asked for the wifi password? I cant believe people are starting to take the sides of drug dealers and users. What a shame.


so, the guy has drug charges, and somehow that excuses the jack booted thug criminals hiding behind a badge when they break the law? brilliant..

Little Giant

If anybody is lacking comprehension skills it is the officers who kicked down the wrong door!


@nick I have to ask you this, even if they find marijuana or something else had been in the pipes, how do they prove when it was in there, is the test going to say a week ago a month ago LOL. and do you honestly think they will send him to prison over two pipes?(and after thought)>>>>> Why isn't this story in the Norwalk Reflector ?


. . . . gee, Game Time - toss the first stone. Nice to hear from someone who has never faltered in his/her life. Must be hard to live up to that level of "perfection".

Our present system doesn't allow for someone to change for the better, and we wonder why there is a revolving door to prisons. Once the "price" has been paid for ju$tice, we ought to allow people to strive for a better life instead of living under microscopes such as yours.


The best thing we can do when wrongly or unjustly accused of crimes is to request
A.) A speedy trial.
& B.) A jury trial.
Then as a jury put an end to frivolous or
Unwarranted arrests.
I'd take my chances with 12 jurors and put these ridiculous cops on the stand and let them explain their actions.


The drug addict admitted that the guy was in his house a couple weeks ago. That means that he was probably selling drugs from the apartment. If your not assisting a drug dealer you for sure don't let them in your apartment. To a drug addict a couple weeks could mean a couple days because they are not passing time by things like going to work.


Tuffnutts, do you know John? Where do you get off? Judge not brother, drug addicts aren't all completely worthless and irresponsible ya know, unless you know him and know he doesn't have a job, and you don't know that he is currently using, the cops searched his house and didn't find any needles or other things indicative of heroin or opiate abuse, in my experience if he were, they would've. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but think about what your saying, it is just ignorant.