GALLIPOLIS — Two Gallia County men have been sentenced to more than three years in prison in two separate cases, according to Gallia County prosecutors.
Shannon T. Henderson, 20, was sentenced to serve nine months in prison for illegal conveyance of drugs onto a detention facility.
Prosecutors say that on Dec. 20, 2014 Henderson paid a visit to an inmate at the Gallia County Work Release Center in Cheshire. The work release center staff, as is standard practice, searched Henderson and the items he brought with him to the facility, including a pack of cigarettes.
Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins said inside one of the cigarettes was a small, white pill that was later confirmed to be hydrocodone, a Schedule II controlled substance.
“The pill and the package were confiscated by the staff and placed into evidence,” he said.
Assistant Prosecutor Eric Mulford said it is illegal in Ohio to “even attempt to bring illegal substances onto the grounds” of a detention facility.
“Sheriff (Joe) Browning’s staff at the work release center did a great job in thoroughly searching the items before they were able to make it inside the facility,” Mulford said. “Because of their diligence, we were able to prosecute (Henderson) for illegal conveyance.”
Assistant Prosecutor Britt Wiseman said the arrest and conviction should send a message to others to not try to smuggle narcotics or other banned substances and items into a detention center or other jail facility.
“Instead of a pill, the item could be a weapon that could potentially be used on staff, guards or other inmates,” he said. “This is a serious violation of the law and one in which the safety and security of the inmates and officers is at stake.”
In a separate case, a Gallia County man received 30 months in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction for attempted felonious assault and violating his adult probation terms after he struck someone in the head with a beer bottle.
According to Mulford, Joshua Allen Peck, 25, reportedly assaulted numerous people at the July 4 party in Gallia County. Mulford said he believes alcohol played a role in the attempted assault
“The defendant struck the victim, a fellow acquaintance, with a beer bottle in the face causing multiple breaks to the victim’s teeth. Multiple witnesses were present during the incident,” Mulford said.
Wiseman said Peck was originally placed on felony probation after he pleaded guilty to fleeing and eluding police in May 2014. In that incident, police attempted to pick Peck up on multiple outstanding warrants when he ran from police in his vehicle, causing “substantial risk of serious physical harm” to other people on the road.
“Alcohol was believed to have played a role in (Peck) fleeing from police,” Wiseman said.
In addition, Peck reportedly violated his adult probation by failing to report to his community control officer and for failing to complete substance abuse rehab services.
“At the time (Peck) was given the opportunity for adult probation and to complete rehabilitation, he was informed that his failure to do so would result in 30 months of incarceration in prison,” Adkins said. “My office, working alongside the common pleas court probation department, attempts to provide the resources necessary to confront drug and alcohol addiction. However, when those services are not taken advantage of by those in need, then we default to incarceration.”
Both were ordered to immediately begin their prison sentences in the two separate cases.
Reach Michael Johnson at 740-446-2342, ext. 2102, or on Twitter @OhioEditorMike.