Probation for Suffield couple who made meth, endangered children

By Dave O'Brien | staff writer Published:

A Suffield couple with three children who made methamphetamine in their house before being discovered and arrested by the Portage County Drug Task Force in July 2012 were sentenced Monday to three years probation and ordered to continue counseling for addiction and mental health issues.

Portage County Common Pleas Judge John Enlow sentenced Briana A. Park and Robert D. Tompkins, both 33 and both of 767 Mishler Road, to three years probation each, and ordered them to submit to random drug and alcohol tests. He also ordered them to continue drug addiction treatment and mental health counseling.

Both Park and Tompkins pleaded guilty in January to bills of information charging them with one count each of child endangering, both third-degree felonies. Park also pleaded guilty to one count of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, a third-degree felony, and Tompkins to one count of permitting drug abuse, a fifth-degree felony.

The child endangering charges came about because Park and Tompkins knowingly allowed children to be "on the same parcel of real property and within 100 feet of any act" in violation of Ohio Revised Code statutes governing the illegal manufacture of drugs, according to their charging documents.

The Portage County Prosecutor's Office had no objection to the couple being placed on probation, Assistant Prosecutor Eric Finnegan said. He only asked Enlow to suspend a prison term to give Park and Tompkins "incentive to comply" with the rules of their probation.

If Park or Tompkins violate their probation, they each face up to 30 months in prison, said Enlow, who also suspended a $5,000 drug fine against Park because she is indigent and unable to pay.

Park's defense attorney, George Keith, said his client recently completed an outpatient drug treatment program and called her arrest "a blessing in disguise."

"She has done the things a person needs to do to separate themselves from addiction," Keith told Enlow.

Tompkins' defense attorney, John Greven, said Tompkins also is in the addiction recovery process and working with Childrens Services caseworkers regarding the care of their children.

Park admitted to her addiction and told Enlow she wants to be a productive member of society. "I'm thankful for what happened," she told him. Tompkins declined to make a statement in court.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1128 or dobrien@recordpub.com

The Portage County Drug Task Force arrested Park, Tompkins and Michael C. Stewart, 48, of Akron, on July 19, 2012, after a two-month investigation into the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine at the couple's residence. All three were indicted on felony drug charges a week after their arrest.

Stewart pleaded guilty to illegal manufacturing of drugs, a second-degree felony, and aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, in December 2012 and was sentenced by Enlow to three and a half years in prison.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1128 or dobrien@recordpub.com

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