April 16, 2014

Elyria
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North Ridgeville man placed in diversion program

Matthew Briggs

Matthew Briggs

ELYRIA — A North Ridgeville man who was growing marijuana in his basement has been placed in a court-run diversion program over the objections of prosecutors.

Lorain County Common Pleas Court Judge James Burge allowed 36-year-old Matthew Briggs to plead to illegal cultivation of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia charges during a hearing Friday. If Briggs successfully completes one year of probation, the charges against him will be dropped.

North Ridgeville police discovered marijuana plants, pipes and marijuana inside the house Briggs and his wife, Shannon Briggs, share after a neighbor called to report their front door was open.

After discovering the drugs, police obtained a search warrant to fully search the house.

Shannon Briggs pleaded no contest in Elyria Municipal Court to charges or disorderly conduct persisting and possession of drug paraphernalia and was fined $500 and given a suspended jail sentence. She also resigned from her position as a special education teacher with Medina Schools.

Paul St. Marie, the Briggses’ attorney, said he thought diversion was appropriate for Matthew Briggs, who was growing the marijuana for his personal use.

“I think Matthew and his wife have suffered tremendously, personally, socially and, unfortunately, economically,” he said.

Shannon Briggs’ teaching license was suspended for two years and Matthew Briggs is fighting an effort to suspend his insurance license, St. Marie said.

  • hottamomma

    shouldnt none of their license be suspended, teaching or insurance. if they left their( key word their) door open maybe they wanted it open, that doesnt give the police the right to go in. i leave my garage door open all the time that dont mean go in!

    • told you so

      They were in there own home not dui not selling personal use

  • Adam Bickley

    Its just marijuana, why ruin their lives over it. If the police went in and found beer cans all over the floor it wouldn’t be an issue. But because its weed a teacher and potentialy an insurance rep are now out of work. Marijuana should not be illegal as long as alcohol is legal. Look into why marijuana was illegalized in the first place, its absolutely ridiculous.

  • Jamie Smith

    OMG….Leave this couple ALONE…This is a horrible story that’s like a witch hunt. They did nothing to ruin their lives over. Only in America……NOT GOOD.

  • GreatRedeemer

    There livelihood is ruined over some weed, yet this is the same judge that granted probation to the convicted killer in North Ridgeville after his Oprah appearance.

  • TITO FUENTES JR.

    TO BAD THEY LIVE NEXT TO A RAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!