STEUBENVILLE - The Jefferson County grand jury Wednesday indicted a city man who was caught with a large amount of crack and powder cocaine and faces about 70 years in prison if convicted.
Geary L. Harper Jr., 25, of 514 S. Labelle Court was indicted on three counts of having a weapon as a convicted felon, carrying a concealed weapon and five counts of possession of drugs. Two of the drug possession charges contain specifications of being a major drug offender, which could result in additional 10-year sentences. The drug possession charges also contain forfeiture specifications totaling $8,515.
Harper previously was indicted by the grand jury on an escape charge for failing to report to his parole officer. City Police saw Harper and arrested him on Sept. 10. Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin said Harper had a backpack with 70 grams of cocaine, 8 grams of heroin and six and one-half oxycondone pills, cash and a firearm. Harper was taken to the county jail.
Harper called his girlfriend from the county jail and told her where a stash of drugs and guns were located at a house. Hanlin said the calls from the jail are recorded. She said prisoners are warned about the recordings.
The drug task force went to the house on Sept. 13 and found 120 grams of crack cocaine, 120 grams of powder cocaine, two firearms and cash hidden in the attic under insulation, Hanlin said.
The grand jury also returned a misdemeanor assault indictment against a former Tiltonsville police officer.
Benjie Coblentz, 27, of Senecaville was indicted on the assault charge. His case will be sent back to Dillonvale county court for further proceedings.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation was contacted to investigate the assault, which took place on April 16.
Tiltonsville Police Chief Jerry Davis said on-duty officers responded to an alarm call at Buckeye SouthWest Middle School on Walden Avenue, when they were approached by a man who said he was just assaulted. Davis said the man had head and upper body injuries.
The victim told the officers that five people were in a vehicle, with four wearing masks. One jumped out of the vehicle and started to beat him.
Davis said the man gave a description of the vehicle and then told the officers they were talking to people in the same vehicle just prior to the beating.
The police chief said the officers recognized the vehicle belonged to an off-duty officer.
Christopher Becker, an assistant prosecutor from Trumbull County and former Jefferson County assistant prosecutor, was appointed a special prosecutor in the Colbentz case.
The grand jury also returned indictments against two former Steubenville Dollar General clerks.
Mona I. Pehanich, 52, of 420 Dresden Ave. and Danielle M. Aycock, 20, of 226 Elaine St. were each indicted on a theft charge.
Hanlin said the two former clerks were bypassing checkout scanners for each other.
Selwyn Bougard, 38, of 525 N. Sixth St. was indicted on a charge of failure to pay child support. Hanlin said Bougard owes more than $100,000 in child support.
Darrius D. Watts, 20, and Stanley G. Haywood, 26, both of Chicago were indicted in connection with a firearm being found on Aug. 11 outside a bar.
Watts was indicted on single counts of tampering with evidence, having a weapon as a convicted felon and carrying a concealed weapon. Haywood was indicted on single counts of illegal possession of a firearm in a bar, tampering with evidence, carrying a concealed weapon and having a weapon as a convicted felon.
According to police reports, Watts was arrested outside Pee Dee's bar on South Fourth Street by police responding to a report of a man brandishing a weapon inside the bar and a possible altercation following outside.
Police said when they arrived, they found a crowd outside and Watts attempting to hide a firearm under a vehicle there. Hanlin said Haywood first had the gun and passed it to Watts.
The grand jury also returned the following indictments:
James R. Smallwood, 37, of 261 Clifton Ave., felony domestic violence and resisting arrest.
Ronnie L. Smallwood, 36, of Columbus, felony operating a vehicle under the influence.
Roy L. Bonecutter Jr., 31, of Jeromsville, felonious assault. Hanlin said Bonecutter punched a man in the face on May 10, which resulted in the loss of all the victim's teeth.
Rusty E. Workman, 52, of 55 Diamond St., Irondale, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor involving a teenage girl.