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Neville gets jail time for dealing drugs

By CHRISTINE L. PRATT Staff Writer Published: May 27, 2017 5:00 AM

MILLERSBURG -- A Millersburg man earlier this month, was ordered to serve local jail time for selling drugs, passed off as Xanax, to a confidential informant.

Darrin Brodie Neville, 23, of 4775 County Road 400, previously pleaded guilty in Holmes County Common Pleas Court to two counts of trafficking in drugs. In exchange for his guilty plea, a third charge of trafficking in drugs and three counts of trafficking in counterfeit-controlled substances were dismissed.

Neville, according to defense attorney Mark Baserman Jr., sold drugs not to support his own habit, but, simply, to make money. And, because he is not a user, Neville did not seek treatment in lieu of conviction, which could have culminated in dismissal of charges entirely.

For his part, Neville said he's made some positive changes in his life, is employed, looking forward to getting married and spending all his free time with family.

He said the transactions, for which he was paid $300, were not worth the consequence, which include a 10-month prison term, which was suspended in favor of three years of community control sanctions and 180 days in the Holmes County Jail.

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While Neville said he is remorseful for his actions, Judge Robert Rinfret said, "There's got to be a consequence for doing this stuff." He did say he would consider granting Neville early release onto electronically monitored house arrest once all his financial obligations are satisfied.

Similarly charged initially, Sara Lynn Miller, 23, of 568 Wooster Road, Apt. A, Millersburg, initially had pleaded not guilty to three counts of trafficking in drugs and three counts of trafficking in counterfeit controlled substances. Her husband, Todd Eugene Miller, 21, of the same address had pleaded not guilty to two counts of each.

However, to more accurately reflect the composition of the drug actually sold and make the Millers, neither of whom has a criminal history, eligible for treatment in lieu of conviction, the state refiled the charges via bills of information charging them with selling, purchasing, distributing, or delivering dangerous drugs.

If treatment in lieu of conviction is granted and both Millers successfully complete the program, charges against them will be dismissed.

In the case of Neville, the charges stem from incidents on July 10, 11 and 12. That's when he allegedly sold Buspirone, an unscheduled drug used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, to an informant working for the LEAD Task Force, according to Commander Joe Mullet.

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Because he reportedly sold the drug as Xanax, which is a Schedule IV drug, he was charged for offering to sell the illegal drug and actually selling the counterfeit product, said Mullet.

Because it wasn't until the pills were analyzed in a lab they were found to be counterfeit, the informant continued to conduct business with Neville and the Millers, to whom Neville referred the informant, said Mullet, noting all transactions were discontinued after the substance was found to be non-controlled.

The charges against the Millers stem from incidents alleged to have occurred on Aug. 15 and Aug. 17. Sara Miller faces two additional charges for an Aug. 23 sale she reportedly made while on her own.

The Millers, according to Mullet suggested they knew the drugs were not Xanax, but believed them to be an off-brand of the controlled substance, and they referred to them as "buzz bars."

Sara Miller reportedly had a prescription for the Buspirone that all three are accused of selling as Xanax.

Reporter Christine Pratt can be reached at 330-674-5676 or cpratt@the-daily-record.com.


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