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Men caught stealing cable from tower indicted by grand jury
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Three Akron men and a Portage County resident are facing felony charges for removing copper cable from a cell phone tower in Brown Twp.
Carroll County Prosecuting Attorney Steven D. Barnett said the men were indicted June 7 by a Carroll County grand jury.
JASON ERNEST FRIEDT, 41, of Akron, AUSTIN LEE SMITH, 26, of Diamond (Portage County), KENNETH R. YOUNG, 52, of Akron and PHILLIP D. LAKES, 49, of Akron were each indicted on one count of Aggravated Trespass and Criminal Mischief, each a third-degree felony, and one count of Disrupting Public Service, Vandalism and Grand Theft.
Friedt was indicted on an additional count of Falsification in a Theft Offense, a fourth-degree felony. Smith, Young and Lakes were additionally indicted on one count of Breaking and Entering, a fifth-degree felony.
Barnett said Smith, Lakes, and Young were discovered removing copper cable from a cell phone tower in Brown Township April 12. The cable was valued at around $80,0000 and owned by Verizon and T-Mobile.
The prosecutor said Friedt aided and abetted in the theft by providing sheriff’s deputies a false work order indicating the trio had permission to be at the site to remove the cable. Sheriff’s deputies determined from the various cell companies with equipment at the site that no one had permission to be at the site or remove anything. The removal of the cable reportedly caused a general service outage and possible outage to the 9-1-1 system.
The indictments were included a full-day grand jury session during which testimony was provided by 13 witnesses in sixteen cases. All were returned as indictments.
Others indicted include:
DAVID EDWARD MARTINEZ, 32, of 101 South Market St. Apt. 1, Minerva, one count of Felonious Assault, one count of Kidnapping (first-degree felony) and one count of Abduction.
Barnett said Martinez is accused of assaulting a Minerva man with a metal pipe June 1. Martinez held the victim against his will and forced the victim to drive Martinez to the Akron area where he was again held against his will. The victim was then able to contact police. Martinez faces similar charges in Summit County.
JAMES G. CROUSER, II, 49, of 6463 Darlington St. SW, Carrollton, one count of Having Weapons While Under Disability and one count of Using Weapons While Intoxicated. County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Darlington St. in Perry Township May 24 to investigate a suspicious male shooting a firearm. Deputies found Crouser, intoxicated, and determined he had discharged a firearm. Deputies learned Crouser was convicted in Stark County in 2002 of felony domestic violence that precluded him from possessing or using a firearm.
RICHARD D. ARKENBURGH, 47, of 2003 Arbor Rd. NE, Minerva, one count of Strangulation and one count of Assault. Arkenburgh is accused of assaulting a female at her Rose Township home May 26. Barnett said he threw the woman to the ground and then strangled her. The victim was transported to Aultman Hospital.
JASON SCOTT RUBLE, 44, of Canton, one count of Having Weapons While Under Disability. Ruble was found in possession of a 9mm pistol following a traffic stop on Avalon Rd. April 23. Deputies determined Ruble was previously convicted of a felony drug offense in Florida, precluding him from possessing a firearm.
ARIEL J. AKINS, 41, of 3195 Bark Rd. NW, Dellroy, four counts of Having Weapons While Under Disability and one count of Aggravated Menacing.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to a Harrison Township camper May 7 for an unwanted person who had threatened another person. Akins was found in possession of two rifles and two shotguns. Deputies determined Akins was previously convicted of a felony offense of violence in the state of New York, which precluded him from possessing any firearm.
CHRISTINA M. PETERSON, 44, of 2039 Vesper Rd. SW, Carrollton, one count of Aggravated Trafficking in Drugs and one count of Aggravated Possession of Drugs. Peterson was found in possession of approximately 10 grams of methamphetamine following a traffic stop on Roswell Rd. near Dellroy April 29. Deputies also determined Peterson was delivering methamphetamine for distribution to another individual.
SHADY ANN S. FLOWERS, 37, of Canton and JOHN M. DAZEY, 33, of 4170 Picador Rd., Carrollton, each indicted on Possession of Cocaine and Dazey was indicted on an additional count of Drug Paraphernalia Offenses. O June 3, Flowers and Dazey were stopped for a traffic violation in Brown Township. A K-9 search of the vehicle found suspected cocaine in the vehicle that was located on Dazey’s person and in the console of the vehicle, along with cut straws used to administer cocaine. During a search of Flowers’ purse, approximately five grams of cocaine was found.
STEVEN AARON MERINAR, 42, of Canton, Aggravated Possession of Drugs and Possessing Drug Abuse Instruments. Sheriff deputies stopped Merinar’s vehicle for a traffic violation in Malvern May 20. A K-9 search of the vehicle found suspected methamphetamine and several hypodermic needles used to administer methamphetamine where Merinar was sitting.
ANDREW E. MILLER, 48, of Cuyahoga Falls, Aggravated Possession of Drugs and Tampering with Evidence. While investigating Miller for driving without a license May 13, deputies followed Miller into a Malvern gas station where he hid several Oxycodone pills in the bottom of a toilet plunger in the bathroom to avoid detection.
RANI ANN MILLS, 24, of Dillonvale, two counts of Aggravated Possession of Drugs. Mills was found in possession of methamphetamine and Oxycodone following a traffic stop in Lee Township June 1 for a fictitious license plate.
DONOVON EDWARD COLLIER, 36, of Paris, Theft. Collier is charged with taking keys, a telephone, wallet and the purse of a woman with whom Collier had a domestic dispute that occurred in the woman’s vehicle. The incident occurred May 1.
Arraignments are scheduled June 29 at 8:15 before Common Pleas Judge Michael V. Repella, II.
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