Choctaw man pleads guilty to heroin charges
By Jane Beathard
A Choctaw Lake man, targeted in an investigation of heroin dealers in the subdivision, pleaded guilty on Monday to selling the drug on April 30 and May 14.
Kyle D. Fluhart, 31, 1220 W. Choctaw Dr., London, pleaded guilty in Madison County Common Pleas Court to two counts of heroin trafficking in the vicinity of juveniles. Two additional counts were dismissed as part of a plea bargain.
Fluhart now faces up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine for the conviction. However, he’s likely to be placed on community control, pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation.
Judge Robert D. Nichols set sentencing for Oct. 4 and released Fluhart on a signature bond.
Fluhart was arrested on June 22, along with Benjamin M. Blaho, 21; Christopher A. Sexton, 21; and Alexander I. Gessel, 21, following a three-month investigation by Madison County Sheriff’s deputies.
At the time, Sheriff Jim Sabin said the four are acquaintances and loosely connected in a heroin-dealing network.
It was complaints from neighbors and information gathered from ongoing investigations that led deputies to stake out Fluhart’s West Choctaw Drive home in early April. They identified the house as a possible hub of heroin activity.
Also on Monday, Justin C. Abrams, 21, 769 U.S. 42, S.E., Lot 41, London, pleaded guilty to multiple counts of arson and vandalism, stemming from fires at the London Country Club on March 16 and April 7. Additional charges of breaking and entering were dismissed by the prosecutor.
Abrams admitted torching a bridge and gazebo at the private golf club. He faces up to six years behind bars and $20,000 in fines, pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation. Sentencing is set for Oct. 4
In other common pleas court action on Monday:
• Nichols ordered an evaluation on Megan Kriel, 20, 7185 E. Main St., South Solon, to determine if the woman is eligible for drug treatment instead of conviction on a heroin possession charge. She was arrested on May 22 by London police, following a traffic stop. She violated terms of her signature bond in July.
Nichols initially denied a request by defense attorney Dale Frenz for drug treatment for Kriel, but reconsidered that move on Monday after a test showed only trace amounts of marijuana in the woman’s system. He warned Kriel that an additional violation will send her to prison.
• Kristina Wilt, 32, 274 Surrey Lane, Apt. E, London, pleaded guilty to possessing heroin on May 25. Nichols ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set sentencing for Oct. 4. Wilt is likely to be sentenced to community control, pending the outcome of that investigation.
• Eric S. Keaton, 26, 32 Eastgate, Apt. A, West Jefferson, pleaded guilty to burglarizing the home of a family member on May 19. Additional charges were dismissed by the prosecutor. Keaton faces up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine for the third-degree felony conviction. Nichols ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set sentencing for Oct. 4.
• James Hinerman, Jr., 53, formerly of 74 1/2 W. Main St., West Jefferson, pleaded guilty to selling cocaine on March 7. Hinerman, who has a lengthy criminal history, is likely to be sentenced to seven months behind bars as part of a plea agreement with the prosecutor’s office. Nichols ordered an abbreviated pre-sentence investigation and set sentencing for Oct. 4. Hinerman remains in Tri-County Regional Jail under a $1,500 surety bond.
• Timothy C. Yates, 25, 300 N. South St., Lot 52, New Vienna, pleaded guilty to selling heroin on March 13. An additional drug trafficking charge was dismissed. Yates, who has a prior felony conviction, now faces up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine. Nichols ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set sentencing for Oct. 4.