Cocaine dealer sent to prison

A Norwalk man admitted to violating his probation in a cocaine case and was sentenced to 22 months in prison Wednesday.

Larry A. Long Jr., 42, most recently of Lee Street, first received an 11-month prison term for violating his probation. He had a two count violation; Long pleaded guilty Sept. 28 to trafficking in cocaine and since June 16, he failed to obtain an assessment for treatment at Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services.On Feb. 24, he was placed on three years of probation. Long later completed a 90-day sentence in the Huron County Jail. Probation officer Jim Zappa said in court Wednesday the defendant’s supervision was uneventful until he was arrested on a cocaine charge Aug. 4.

As part of a late September plea deal, prosecutors dismissed two counts of trafficking in cocaine in connection with controlled drug buys on July 29 and Aug. 3.

Before being sentenced in early February, Long completed a two-month, Compass House substance abuse treatment program. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail on the work-release program with half of those days hanging over his head as discretionary time.

"I told you you were close to (getting) a prison term. The line you have to walk is a fine one," Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway told Long in February.

Long has two separate convictions for burglary. In 1999, he pleaded guilty to theft of drugs.

The cocaine case started when the Norwalk Police Department, a member of the METRICH Enforcement Unit, received a tip about a package of drugs being mailed to Long. Prosecutors have said officers contacted postal inspectors April 18, 2014 and a police dog "alerted to the presence of narcotics" in the box.

During this time, Long called the post office several times, asking about the package and what time he could pick it up. Detectives set up surveillance across from the post office and saw the defendant enter the building. Long gave police consent to search the package and investigators found a bag of white powder inside.

Also on Wednesday, Long was sentenced to 11 months in prison for the trafficking charge, which will run consecutive to the other 11-month term. He agreed to be on the risk-reduction program, meaning he can have 20 percent taken off his sentence if he successfully completes an in-house treatment program. Long received credit for being behind bars for six months.

Long, whose driver’s license was suspended for six months, must reimburse police $80 for drug testing.

Originally published in the Norwalk Reflector on October 16, 2015.

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