The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

January 8, 2013

Case tossed to grand jury

CONNEAUT —  A Cleveland man accused of trying to toss drugs and other contraband over security fences and into Lake Erie Correctional Institution last week was bound over to the Ashtabula grand jury Monday afternoon.

Daine Johnson, 32, waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Conneaut Municipal Court on two separate charges of illegal conveyance of drugs into a detention facility. Both charges are felonies. Bond was reduced to $10,000 on each of the charges.

Handcuffed and wearing a Conneaut jail uniform, Johnson had prompt and polite responses to questions posed by Judge Thomas Harris

At the same hearing, Johnson pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor version of the same complaint. He was sentenced to serve 175 days in jail, which was suspended by Harris on condition Johnson stay away from Conneaut. Johnson was given credit for five days already spent in the city jail.

Police said they caught Johnson trying to throw three dufflebags over a section of the north fence early Wednesday night. A resident who called to report a suspicious vehicle in the area of Thompson Road sent police to the scene. The caller said a man had exited the vehicle, which was driven by a woman.

Inside the bags officers found marijuana, cocaine, 15 pounds of tobacco, cellular telephones, phone chargers and an MP3 player, according to a report. On Dec. 29, less than a week earlier, three people were caught trying to throw phones and tobacco into the prison.

Police Chief Charles Burlingham said the department is constantly being asked to patrol property in the vicinity of the prison.

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