10/10/13 Ralph Howard, 54, of Argos was sentenced Thursday, October 3, to 10 years imprisonment at the Indiana Department of Corrections for selling heroin to a confidential informant. In open court, Howard admitted to participating in the sale of a quantity of heroin on December 22, 2012. The sale took place at a residence in the 300 block of Walnut St. in Argos.
Judge Robert O. Bowen approved an agreement reached between Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Nelson Chipman and defense attorney Tom Black, which provided for a sentence at the Indiana Department of Corrections of 10 years of imprisonment. No part of the sentence was suspended.
The case began when Officer Ryan Hollopeter of the Marshall County Police Department worked with a confidential informant to do two controlled buys of narcotics at the residence. Howard was not involved with the first buy that took place in mid-December. Howard admitted to participating in the second transaction and was actually filmed during the transaction.
The charge was originally filed as a Class A felony as the sale took place within 1000 feet of a public park. Plea negotiations reduced the charge to a Class B felony as well as provided for dismissal of a second count alleging conspiracy to commit dealing in a narcotic. Howard also had a prior conviction of dealing in methamphetamine in 2003.