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Cops and Courts

Paperwork snafu leads to wrong man being temporarily detained

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ELYRIA — The secret indictment of a Lorain man led to another man being briefly detained after a paperwork mix-up led to a case of mistaken identity.

In June, a Lorain County grand jury indicted Adam Hall, 39, of Rolling Avenue, on multiple counts of trafficking in drugs, tampering with evidence, having weapons under disabilities, resisting arrest and other charges, via a 13-count secret indictment.

The indictment was the result of two separate traffic stops Lorain police made involving Hall, according to Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will.

The first stop took place March 8.

“During the traffic stop, there was suspicion that led police to search his vehicle and his person,” he said. “The first time they found a gun in the car and ammunition for it that was concealed. They also later found a gun that he had hidden on his person that he tried to discard. There was ammunition for it found in the car.”

Police also found cocaine residue in the car and cocaine on Hall, they said. When police took him to jail, they asked him if he had anything he wanted to tell them, and Hall told them no, Will said. They then found more contraband on him, they said in a report.

On May 1, police conducted another traffic stop with Hall.

“Because of his name and what they had found on him the last time, they asked him if there was anything they needed to be worried about, and he indicated no,” Will said. “They began to find cocaine residue inside the car and cocaine on his person. That led to him being placed under arrested.”

He posted bond and later was indicted by a county grand jury, and a secret indictment was issued. Sheriff’s deputies arrested him on that Tuesday.

But prior to his arrest, the Ohio Highway Patrol pulled over another man — also Adam Hall but with a different middle initial — for a traffic stop in Elyria Township and troopers contacted the Sheriff’s Office in regard to the secret indictment.

When the deputy spoke with the man, the man told the deputy he was quite sure they had the wrong person.

“He was advised of the warrants against him, and he said he’d never had a warrant against him except a child support warrant at one time,” Will said. “He told the officer, ‘I don’t think this is me. You’ve got the wrong guy.’ The officer from the Sheriff’s Office listened to his story, and based upon that, he decided he was going to err on the side of caution and he released him.”

The Sheriff’s Office then looked into the matter and realized there were two sets of paperwork pertaining to the indictment, each with a different middle initial.

Will said he’s not sure how some of the paperwork had one middle initial that was accurate while other paperwork had inaccurate information. He said he’s looking into how the mistake could have happened.

The correct Adam Hall was being held in Lorain County Jail on $150,000 bond.

Contact Scott Mahoney at 440-329-7146 or Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.
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