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YOUNGSTOWN Lawyer hopes next stop for client is drug court



Published: Fri, August 23, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The first case was dismissed because the defendant was in rehab.

By PATRICIA MEADE

VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- It's hoped that Sean Ungaro, found by an ambulance crew asleep in his car and clutching a hypodermic needle, will be accepted into felony drug court, his lawyer says.

Ungaro, 29, of Fifth Avenue was in municipal court Thursday afternoon for a preliminary hearing on charges of possession of heroin and possession of a drug-abuse instrument.

His Boardman lawyer, Jeffrey Limbian, waived his client's right to the hearing, permitting the heroin charge to be bound over to a Mahoning County grand jury. The misdemeanor drug instrument charge was dismissed.

House arrest

Judge Elizabeth A. Kobly continued Ungaro's $50,000 cash or surety bond. She advised him that he must remain home under informal house arrest until he enters a drug treatment program.

Limbian said it's hoped that Ungaro will be accepted into the drug court at Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. Judge Jack Durkin, who presides over the court, dismisses charges once participates successfully complete the program.

Ungaro was arrested the afternoon of Aug. 12 after an ambulance crew woke him as he slept in his car, and he became combative, reports show. The ambulance crew told police officers that the car was creating a traffic jam.

Once awakened, Ungaro tried to drive off. He was restrained and the car keys taken from him, police said.

Last September, Ungaro was arrested after speeding through a stop sign on Oakland Avenue. He had a hypodermic syringe in his pants pocket and voluntarily told police that he was a heroin addict, reports show.

Police, who obtained permission to search his car, found a white substance on a metal spoon, which Ungaro identified as Oxycontin and said he bought in Austintown. Two more syringes were also found.

Charged

Ungaro was charged with possession of a drug-abuse instrument. He entered a drug treatment program and the charge was dismissed in mid-October 2001 by Judge Robert A. Douglas Jr.

Ungaro is a son of Pat Ungaro, former longtime mayor of Youngstown.

Pat Ungaro was recently hired as Liberty's township administrator.

meade@vindy.com




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