Ironton man admits to drug problem at sentencing hearing

May 26, 2019 GMT

IRONTON — An Ironton man who admitted he has a drug problem was sentenced Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court to 22 months in prison and faces more time in prison in two other drug charges.

Richard L. Heaberlin II, 49, of the 600 block of South 10th Street, Ironton, admitted failing community control sanctions by failing to report, using meth and failing to complete an aftercare program at the STAR Community Justice Center in Franklin Furnace, Ohio.

“I do need help,” Heaberlin said. “I have suffered an addiction for five or six years. I’m too old for this. I’m finally ready to change my life.”


Judge Andy Ballard said Heaberlin has walked away from help on more than one occasion.

“You walked out of that building four months sober,” Ballard said. “At some point independent choices are made.”

Heaberlin faces at least two additional aggravated possession of meth charges that could lead to several more years in prison.

Heaberlin was given credit for 202 days already served. A pretrial on the two remaining drug charges was set for Aug. 14.

In an unrelated case, Keith Wetzel, 52, of the 1000 block of North 5th Street, Ironton, pleaded guilty to aggravated possession of meth, grand theft, breaking and entering and receiving stolen property.

He was placed on community control sanctions for four years and ordered to complete the program at STAR and do 200 hours of community service. He also was given credit for 43 days already served.

In other cases:

• Drug charges against William D. French, 40, of County Road 52, Ironton, were dismissed Wednesday but will be presented to an upcoming Lawrence County grand jury. French was charged with trafficking and possession of meth and tampering with evidence. A crime lab at the Ohio Bureau of Identification and Investigations found the drugs to be fentanyl and not meth.

• Darrin Chinn, 31, of the 2200 block of 8th Avenue, Huntington, pleaded guilty to possession of meth. He was placed on community control sanctions for four years and ordered to complete a drug rehabilitation program at STAR. He also was ordered to do 200 hours of community service.

• Daniteleen Hodge, 48, of County Road 1, Chesapeake, Ohio, pleaded innocent to failure to appear. Hodge also is charged with theft of a motor vehicle, identity fraud and falsification.

• Brandon McFann, 34, no address listed, admitted violating community control sanctions. He was ordered to continue on community control sanctions, complete a 30-day drug treatment program at the Veterans Administration and complete any other programs recommended by the VA.

• A drug charge was dismissed against Elissa M. Adkins, 28, of Harts, West Virginia.