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Year in review: The year's top crime stories, Part Two

From Staff Reports Published: January 4, 2017 12:00 AM
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Editor's note: This is Part 2 of a two-part series outlining the year's top crime stories in Nordonia Hills.

Macedonia inmate found dead of apparent suicide

Macedonia -- The death of a 24-year-old Texas man in the Macedonia City Jail was likely the facility's first suicide, according to Police Lt. Vince Yakopovich.

The man was found not breathing on his cot Aug. 9 just before 4 p.m. by another inmate, according to a report. The report stated Corrections Officer Leah Coffman was alerted by an inmate who had looked into the cell while the inmate had been using the dayroom.

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Coffman contacted dispatch for a rescue squad, then went with Det. Brian Vince to the cell and found a sheet had been tied to a window bar and the man's neck, the report stated.

Vince cut the sheet and performed CPR until firefighers arrived, but the man was not responsive and not breathing, according to the report.

Firefighters took him to the Cleveland Clinic Twinsburg emergency room, where a doctor pronounced him dead around 4:30 p.m., the report states.

The man had been pulled over for speeding on Interstate 271 northbound near the northern city line Aug. 7 about 2:20 a.m.

According to the report, he told police he did not have a driver's license and he was placed under arrest. On searching his vehicle, police found 25 vacuum sealed packages of marijuana weighing 24 pounds concealed in compartments. Yakopovich said the marijuana was worth at least $25,000.

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He was charged with aggravated trafficking in drugs, a first-degree felony, and felony charges of hidden compartments and drug possession, as well as misdemeanor charges of speeding and driving without a license.

Man shot into neighbor's home

Sagamore Hills -- Anthony Wolfarth, 33, of Sagamore Hills, was sentenced to two years of community service Oct. 21 in Summit County Common Pleas Court after he pleaded guilty to a felony charge related to shooting a gun into his upstairs neighbor's apartment in April.

Wolfarth was facing a second-degree felony charge of improperly discharging a firearm into a habitat or school and a misdemeanor charge of using weapons while intoxicated in the Summit County Common Pleas Court. Instead, he pleaded guilty Sept. 13 to a third-degree felony charge of attempting to improperly discharge a firearm at or into a habitat or school and to the misdemeanor charge.

While there were no injuries reported, an upstairs resident of the Eaton Ridge apartment complex called police April 8 about 7 a.m. after discovering a bullet had come through the floor of his 10-year-old son's room, traveled through the boy's bed and into the room's ceiling.

The man told police his son had not been home that night and no one was injured.

The man said he had heard a noise around 11:30 p.m. the night before but thought something had fallen off the wall in the apartment below.

Police inspected the apartment, then went to Wolfarth's apartment directly below, where he was found at home, allegedly intoxicated, according to police. Police say after some discussion, Wolfarth told police he and his girlfriend had been arguing and he fired the gun. Police say Wolfarth said he fired one bullet from a rifle.

Man convicted in $10 million fraud

Macedonia -- A 73-year-old Macedonia man was among four Ohio men sentenced to prison for defrauding hundreds of investors out of $10 million by selling unregistered securities and making several misrepresentations to investors about the product they purported to develop, law enforcement officials said.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio announced Oct. 25 that Macedonia resident Dennis Deciancio, along with Kenneth Jackson, 59, of Glenmont, William Schureck, 81, of Lexington, and Daryl Dane Donohue, 67, of Mansfield, were convicted following a trial on counts including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to launder money, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, making false statements and other charges.

Deciancio was sentenced to nearly six years in prison, while Jackson was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison, Schureck was sentenced to nine years in prison and Donohue was sentenced to more than four years in prison.

"These defendants misled investors and lied about their product," U.S. Attorney Carole Rendon said in a press release. "They earned these prison sentences by stealing the millions of dollars from hundreds of people."

All four men were affiliated with Medical Safety Solutions, or MSS, a company Jackson founded in 2007 which operated out of Mansfield and had a purported "research and development center" at Jackson's home in Glenmont. They defrauded investors by inducing them to buy stock and making false and fraudulent misrepresentations about MSS, officials said.

More than 500 investors were defrauded as part of the scheme. They lost more than $10 million between 2007 and 2013, according to trial testimony and court documents.

"When you knowingly mix deceit and trickery into the financial well-being of individuals, you create a recipe for devastation that could last a lifetime," said Kathy A. Enstrom, special agent in charge, IRS criminal investigation, Cincinnati field office.

Man sentenced for bank robbery

Sagamore Hills -- A 35-year-old Madison man was found guilty of aggravated robbery in Summit County Common Pleas Court and sentenced Nov. 11 to four years, 11 months of incarceration, according to court records.

Dion Lamarr Jackson was sentenced in connection with the robbery at gunpoint June 24 of the Citizens Bank in Sagamore Hills.

Police say the robbery happened at approximately 3:30 p.m. and Jackson took an undetermined amount of cash and fled the bank. No one was injured during the incident.

Sagamore Hills Police officers responded and with the assistance of Macedonia Police, Northfield Village Police, Walton Hills Police and the Summit County Sheriff's Office. After speaking to an FBI agent out of the Akron office, SHPD learned the same suspect attempted another bank robbery earlier in the day. He was also a suspect in three additional bank robberies that the FBI was working according to police.

Police say they arrested Jackson within an hour of the robbery.

Eric Marotta: 330-541-9433

Email: emarotta@recordpub.com


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