A Kent man was sentenced this week to six years in prison for breaking into a Streetsboro residence in May and stealing credit cards that he used to purchase merchandise he then traded for heroin.
Brian P. Wolf, 27, homeless but with a last known address on Dean Court in Kent, was sentenced by Portage County Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman. He pleaded guilty to six charges, including second-degree felony burglary, and five counts of forgery, receiving stolen property and possession of heroin, for incidents that took place in Kent in May.
He still faces charges of breaking and entering in several incidents that took place in Brimfield in February, according to court records.
Wolf was given credit for 156 days already served in the Portage County jail awaiting trial. Pittman fined him $100 plus court costs and ordered him to pay $1,083 in restitution to three victims, including two credit card companies, FirstMerit Bank and a female victim.
Portage County Public Defender Dennis Lager, whose office represented Wolf, told Pittman his client was accepted as a patient at the Northeast Ohio Community Alternative Program in Warren on the fifth-degree felonies. The second-degree felony burglary charge, however, carries a presumption of prison under Ohio law.
Lager said Wolf started using heroin at age 19, following the death of his mother. He also used marijuana and cocaine occasionally, he said.
Wolf's criminal history "is consistent with heroin addiction," Lager said. "Everything he did was consistent with being an addict."
Convicted of burglary in 2007, Wolf previously attended NEOCAP but relapsed on heroin in 2011, had his probation revoked and was sent to prison.
On May 22, according to his indictment, Wolf entered an attached garage in the 1200 block of Shady Lake Drive in Streetsboro, took credit cards out of a victim's car and "used them to feed his habit," Lager said. Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci said Wolf used the cards to purchase merchandise at Walmart and Sheetz stores that he then traded for heroin.
The addiction, Lager said, is an "explanation, not excuse," for Wolf's behavior.
"He'll always be an addict," he said. ""This is a man who needs further treatment … the options are warehouse him, or get him more treatment."
Assistant Prosecutor Eugene Muldowney instead asked that Wolf get six years in prison, telling Pittman "the problem is, he's been down this road before."
Wolf told Pittman he has "fully taken responsibility" for his actions. "This is my final chance to take the right path," he said.
Pittman sympathized with Wolf, telling him that Lager "made a very impassioned speech" on his behalf but that he was "not amenable" to probation or court-ordered drug treatment.
"Show me that you want to change your life," she told him.
Wolf will serve five concurrent one-year prison terms that will run concurrent to the burglary sentence for his other crimes, Pittman ruled.
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