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Published: Friday, 8/9/2013


Corrections officer accused in drug smuggling to resign

Alleged accomplices arraigned


A corrections officer accused of smuggling drugs into the Lucas County jail is expected to resign today, a day after two other people’s arraignments in connection with the case.

Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp said he plans to accept the resignation of Michelle Vining, a 10-year department employee who was arrested July 20 when she arrived for work.

Capt. Don Atkinson, who oversees the sheriff’s internal-affairs section, said Ms. Vining had signed a resignation letter dated for today. Once her resignation is official, her internal-affairs investigation will end, he said.

But Sheriff Tharp said the overall investigation, both criminally and internally, will continue.

“I’m going to insist that we continue to investigate,” he said. “There’s a lot that we don’t know.”

The two alleged accomplices, including a jail inmate, are accused of helping Ms. Vining, 31, sneak marijuana and the painkiller Percocet into the jail.

Salina Sosbe, also known as Salina Perez, 29, of 418 Third St., and Jesse Perez, 33, of 1003 Mott St., are both charged with drug trafficking and two counts of illegal conveyance of drugs into a detention facility. Ms. Sosbe also is charged with aggravated drug possession.

Both were arraigned Thursday in Toledo Municipal Court and remained in the Lucas County jail afterward in lieu of $15,000 bond.

Ms. Sosbe was arrested Wednesday, while Mr. Perez has been in the jail since May 22 awaiting trial for robbery.

According to court records, Ms. Sosbe and Ms. Vining allegedly worked together to smuggle the drugs into the jail. Ms. Vining is accused of delivering the drugs to Mr. Perez’s fifth-floor cell, where he either used or sold the drugs, records say.

Jailhouse tips prompted a three-week investigation that led to the arrest of Ms. Vining, who also is charged with illegal conveyance, drug trafficking, and drug possession. She was released from jail on her own recognizance and is scheduled to appear in court again Wednesday.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at tdungjen@theblade.com, or 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @taylordungjen.

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