October 2, 2014

Medina
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Judge threatens fireworks maker with prison time

MEDINA — A 33-year-old Brunswick man on house arrest for building homemade fireworks in his garage was given additional time for violating probation — and a firm warning from the judge that another violation will mean prison time.

“One step out of line, and you’re gone,” warned Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier. “The community needs to be protected from you.”

Peter J. Ferrante, center, listens with his attorney, Ron Spears, and a Medina County Sheriff's deputy during Ferrante's probationviolation hearing Tuesday. NICK GLUNT/GAZETTE

Peter J. Ferrante, of 1476 S. Carpenter, Apt. 281, was ordered to spend three more months on house arrest. His previous three-month term was set to end Saturday.

A probation officer told the judge that Ferrante went swimming at his apartment’s pool and his ankle tracker registered two unauthorized stops on his route to work and to a drug-testing clinic.

The probation officer said Ferrante was warned those activities would be violations of probation, and he got his employer to lie for him about one of the violations.

Ferrante admitted he lied at Tuesday’s hearing. His attorney, Ron Spears, asked the judge for another chance.

“I can’t offer a reason he was dishonest,” Spears said, “but I can ask for another chance for him to prove he can be honest.”

The hearing had been set for Monday, but Collier delayed the case a day, saying he believed Ferrante was being dishonest.

As part of his new house arrest, the judge ordered Ferrante to find a new employer.

“You don’t deserve this; you deserve prison,” Collier said.

Ferrante was accused of purchasing a cereal bowl full of explosives, including black gunpowder, sulfur and potassium chlorate.

He was convicted in May after pleading guilty to attempted illegal manufacture of explosives and unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance. The charges are third- and fifth-degree felonies, punishable by up to four years in prison.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.