Home Blunders Grand jury declines to indict Akron firefighter for crack

Grand jury declines to indict Akron firefighter for crack


April 24–Drug charges against an Akron  have been dismissed after a county grand jury declined to issue a felony indictment.

As a result of the grand jury decision,  John Howell, 29, no longer faces any felony drug abuse charges stemming from his arrest April 8 when a single rock of crack cocaine was found inside his car.

Prosecutors did not comment on the grand jury decision.

Fire Chief Edward Hiltbrand said Friday that Howell is expected to return to active duty soon. However, he will now face an internal investigation into his conduct.

Howell's defense attorney, Paul Adamson, said Howell immediately denied ownership of the crack cocaine and is unsure how it got inside his car. Howell, he said, passed three different drugs tests — using his hair, blood and urine — the day after his arrest to show he is not a drug user, he said.

“He was as shocked as anybody when the police found it,” Adamson said Friday. “And he immediately told them, 'That's not mine. I don't do drugs'.”

According to Akron police, officers spotted Howell leaving a house on North Howard Street about 3:30 a.m. During a traffic stop, police say Howell consented to a search of his car and officers say they found a rock of crack cocaine concealed inside a contact lens case near the driver's seat of Howell's 2007 Pontiac Torrent.

In a police report, a woman who lives in the North Howard Street home was questioned after Howell's arrest. She told police she had just met Howell online that night and after visiting a donut shop, she purchased the $60 worth of cocaine at Howell's request, shortly before his arrest.


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