ELYRIA — Following a traffic stop Sunday on state Route 57 near Interstate 90, a Lorain man and a North Ridgeville woman were arrested on multiple felony and misdemeanor charges for allegedly possessing prescription pills without a prescription along with other illegal drugs, and lying to an officer about their true identities.
All told, Jessica Giannetta, 35, of the 6000 block of Paula Boulevard, North Ridgeville, was charged with illegal conveyance of drugs, a third-degree felony, possession of heroin/fentanyl and possession of cocaine, both fifth-degree felonies, obstructing official business, a second-degree misdemeanor, possession of drug paraphernalia, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, and also was arrested on a contempt of court warrant on an original 2015 misdemeanor criminal case.
Jeffrey Pihlblad Sr., 47, of the 1500 block of East 30th Street, also was charged with possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, obstructing official business and possession of drug abuse instruments, both second-degree misdemeanors. He also had warrants out for his arrest for failure to pay child support, according to Lorain County Jail records.
Giannetta was being held in Lorain County Jail on $16,000 bond, while Pihlblad Sr. was being held on $4,250 bond.
According to an Elyria police report, an officer patrolling the 900 block of Lorain Boulevard at 8:20 p.m. Sunday saw a white Jeep stop in the parking lot of the Journey Inn at 888 Lorain Blvd. Knowing that Journey Inn is “notorious for drug activity and prostitution” based on making previous arrests there, the officer watched as a man and a woman left a hotel room and got into the passenger side of the Jeep.
The officer followed the Jeep, saw it cross over both the shoulder and center lines and stopped it just north of Griswold Road. Giannetta was sitting in the front seat, with Pihlblad Sr. sitting behind her, and Pihlbad Sr.’s 26-year-old son driving.
Pihlblad Sr. gave the officer the name “Mike Collins” and a birthday in 1972. The officer checked the name and determined that “Collins” had two active warrants for his arrest, one each out of Lorain and Garfield Heights. The driver then told the officer that Giannetta and Pihlblad Sr. had lied about their identities and provided police with their real names, according to a police report.
Another officer who arrived allegedly found an orange pill bottle containing several pills and an eyeglasses case under the seat containing 57 trazodone pills, one alprazolam pill and three syringes. Trazodone is used to treat depression and alprazolam to treat anxiety, and both are frequently sold illegally and abused.
Also, $984 in cash was found in Pihlblad Sr.’s pants pocket that he claimed — but could not prove — was from his income tax refund, police said.
Another 109 pills of the medication gabapentin were found inside an orange pill bottle Pihlblad Sr.’s son told officers he saw Giannetta stash in the glove box during the traffic stop. A black smoking device also was recovered from her purse, which was open and in plain view on the front passenger seat, officers reported.
Both Pihlblad Sr. and Giannetta were taken to Lorain County Jail, where despite having denied she had any weapons or other drugs on her, corrections officers found a clear plastic baggie in her front pants pocket that tested positive for heroin and/or fentanyl, resulting in an additional felony charge, according to Elyria police.
Pihlblad Sr.’s son was released with a minor misdemeanor traffic citation for marked lanes, police said.
Giannetta’s prior arrest record includes charges of theft, passing bad checks, misuse of credit cards and multiple warrants for contempt, according to Lorain County Jail records. Pihlblad Sr.’s prior criminal history includes arrests for forgery, failure to pay child support and multiple contempt warrants, jail records show.