November 24, 2014

Elyria
Partly sunny with showers
60°F
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Former Lorain city worker avoids conviction for drug use

ELYRIA — A former Lorain city worker who was fired after he was caught with heroin on the job has been granted intervention in lieu of conviction.

Morgan Minnich, 31, entered a no-contest plea to possession of heroin and possession of drug abuse instruments and was found guilty by Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge during a hearing Friday.

But Minnich won’t be sentenced on the charges. Instead, if he successfully completes one year of probation and treatment, the charges against him will be dropped under the intervention program.

Mike Kinlin, Minnich’s lawyer, said he was pleased by Burge’s decision to grant intervention, something prosecutors opposed.

“Morgan’s a good guy who just had a problem like a lot of people do,” Kinlin said. “He’s taken steps to take care of it, and I think he’ll be successful.”

Minnich was arrested June 26 after Lorain police Sgt. Tom Nimon followed the city-owned truck Minnich was driving to an Elyria Township home where a suspected heroin dealer lives.

Minnich walked to the front door of the house and was there for about 30 seconds before returning to his vehicle. He then drove back to the city’s service garage, where he was confronted by police.

Nimon reported that Minnich acknowledged he had a small bag of heroin in his pocket and told police to look in his locker, where they found a drug “kit” consisting of a metal spoon, a syringe and a length of rope.

Minnich told police that he paid his dealer between $800 and $900 every two weeks for the heroin he picked up daily. Once he got the drugs, Minnich told police, he normally returned to the city garage and went into a bathroom to shoot up.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.