Monday, July 28th, 2014
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Wednesday, 07 May 2014 08:41

Newcomerstown scrapyard owners face drug-related charges

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Authorities: Hundreds of thousands of dollars in stolen equipment recovered from site

COSHOCTON, Ohio -- A couple who once ran a scrapyard near Newcomerstown made an appearance in Coshocton County Common Pleas Court on Monday to answer to drug-related charges.

Forty-four-year-old Howard Berger pleaded not guilty to two counts of trafficking in drugs and one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs, and 33-year-old Rhonda St. John pleaded not guilty to one count of aggravated possession of a controlled substance.

The two were arrested early in April, after authorities executed a search warrant at their home on Township Road 105. Cash, multiple firearms, methamphetamine and numerous items reported as stolen were allegedly found at the scene.

Authorities reportedly identified stolen vehicles, four-wheelers, construction equipment and a large inventory of tools, among other items at the business. Investigators say objects reportedly taken from Noble, Guernsey, Franklin, Coshocton, Muskingum and Tuscarawas County, worth hundred of thousands of dollars have been identified. The National Insurance Crime Bureau and the Ohio BMV Investigation Unit are assisting the local agencies with the investigation.

Berger remains at the Coshocton County Justice Center in lieu of $100,000 bond. St. John was released after posting bond. Officials say further charges and arrests are expected. An investigation into criminal activities at the junk yard continues.

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