Grant Albright enters the courtroom Wednesday for a treatment in lieu violation hearing in Van Wert County Court of Common Pleas. Albright will return for a hearing next month. (DHI Media/Ed Gebert)
Grant Albright enters the courtroom Wednesday for a treatment in lieu violation hearing in Van Wert County Court of Common Pleas. Albright will return for a hearing next month. (DHI Media/Ed Gebert)

VAN WERT — Grant Albright, 37, Van Wert, was one of seven defendants to make court appearances Wednesday in Van Wert County Court of Common Pleas. Albright admitted to violating his drug treatment plan by failing two drug tests, testing positive for morphine in April and for opiates in July. Sentencing in the case was continued and a status conference was scheduled for 30 days from the current date. Albright was released on bond.

Tristan Boaz, 22, Van Wert, was also found to have violated her drug treatment plan. Boaz admitted to failing to report to her probation officer, failing positive drug tests and cancelling a counseling appointment. Boaz was originally charged with three counts of falsifying a signature on a check from a local business. She will be sentenced on Aug. 20 and was ordered held without bond until that hearing.

Two local men were each sentenced Wednesday on trafficking charges. Jesse Blackburn, 22, Delphos, was sent to the WORTH Center in Lima as part of three years of community control for fourth-degree felony trafficking heroin. Blackburn must also serve 60 days in jail, perform 200 hours of community service, give up his drivers license for six months, and pay fees and court costs. An 18-month prison term was deferred pending the successful completion of community control.

Meanwhile, Matthew Southerland, 32, Van Wert, was placed on community control for three years, and was given 30 days of electronically-monitored house arrest for fifth-degree felony drug trafficking.



Southerland has reportedly been doing well fighting his drug issues with the help of Celebrate Recovery. “I’m just trying to do right by my family,” Southerland told Judge Charles D. Steele.

Southerland must also give up his drivers license for six months and pay fees and court costs. An 11-month prison sentence was deferred pending the completion of community control.

Gregory Tackett, 31, Ft. Wayne, waived his right to a speedy trial Wednesday on a possession of drugs charge, a felony of the fifth degree.

Eric Shaffer, 38, Van Wert, pleaded guilty to grand theft, a felony of the fourth degree. He was then placed in the prosecutor’s diversion program which calls for him to pay back $12,540 to the State of Ohio.

Justine Jerome, 28, Van Wert, entered a guilty plea of guilty to a fifth-degree felony charge of possession of drugs. A second possession charge, was dismissed for her guilty plea. Sentencing is set for Aug. 20.