Drug case dismissed

A Fremont man’s case was dismissed by Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Kelbley.

Aaron K. Sewell, 61, had been charged with possession of cocaine, a third-degree felony.

Kelbley approved a motion by Seneca County Prosecutor’s Office to dismiss the indictment, court records state.

He previously had granted a motion by Sewell that sought to suppress any evidence illegally seized, including statements Sewell made and all physical evidence that was seized.

Sewell’s attorney, Michael Kelley, said during a suppression hearing that Officer Drew Westenbarger of Tiffin Police Department alleged marked lanes and following too closely violations, and Sewell asserted neither occurred.

A canine arrived in about 17 minutes, and the vehicle’s occupants were detained for 19 minutes, which is longer than reasonable, Kelley said.

Kelley said the car shouldn’t have been stopped and alleged Sewell’s constitutional rights had been violated.

Kelbley wrote in his decision that he did not have the benefit of any video supporting the assertion that the vehicle crossed or covered the center line, and it was his opinion the video did not support the view that the driver was following too closely to the car ahead of him.

“This court believes the initial stop is not supported by the evidence and the period of time holding the driver without issuing a summons or some type of charge was unreasonable in these circumstances,” Kelbley wrote.

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