Three arraigned on charges related to a smuggling effort at LoCI

Jane Beathard Staff Writer

December 2, 2013

Three Toledo-area men were arraigned in Madison County Common Pleas Court on Monday, Dec. 2, charged with plotting to smuggle drugs and tobacco into London Correctional Institution last summer.

Shane Ybarra, 29, and Steven Houston, 30, are accused of conspiring with Timothy A. Hill II, 29, to drop a packet containing balloons filled with tobacco and marijuana on prison property along Roberts Mill Road on July 23.

Hill, who was serving four years for robbery at the time, allegedly intended to retrieve the packet while serving on a work detail.

Prison investigators intercepted incriminating phone calls between Houston and Hill and were waiting when the men showed up for the drop.

Houston, who handled the packet, is charged with illegal conveyance of drugs. Ybarra, who drove Houston to the area, is charged with complicity to illegal conveyance.

Hill, who was released from prison on Oct. 27, is also charged with complicity. He is currently on parole, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction.

Toledo-area attorney Phillip Browarsky entered not guilty pleas for all three men. Their trials were set for Feb. 13.

Judge Eamon Costello released Ybarra and Houston on signature bonds and ordered Houston fitted with an electronic monitor. Hill was jailed at Tri-County under a $10,000 cash or surety bond.