MOUNT VERNON – According to Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher, the Grand Jury returned sixteen indictments, on Monday.

Mary Ann Dales, 32, and Aaron A. Walker, 32, both of Mount Vernon, are accused of trafficking and possession of drugs for allegedly selling Percocet pills to a confidential informant working for the Mount Vernon Police Department, on January 4 and March 7. Detective James DeChant, MVPD, investigated the cases.

Jeremy R. Lamb, 27, and Demetrius A. Caldwell, 26, both of Mount Vernon also face drug trafficking and possession of drugs charges. Thatcher said Lamb and Caldwell allegedly sold heroin to a confidential informant, on April 26 and 29 and on May 1. Detective Craig Feeney, MVPD, investigated the cases.

Avery J. Smith, 19, Mount Vernon, was allegedly caught with a bag of “mushrooms” also known as Psilocyn, a schedule I controlled substance, during a traffic stop, on September 6, 2012. Smith was indicted on an aggravated possession of drugs charge. Trooper Paul Shore, Ohio State Highway Patrol, investigated the case.

Roger E. Artripe, 57, Mount Vernon, is accused of rape and gross sexual imposition for allegedly engaging in sexual conduct with a four year old female victim, in February.

Michael P. Ashcraft, 26, Fredericktown, is charged with sexual battery and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor for allegedly engaging in sexual conduct with a fourteen year old female victim, last October. The sexual battery charge in the indictment alleges that Ashcraft was acting in the capacity of “an instructor at the time of the alleged offense. Ashcraft was tutoring the child in one of her school subjects, according to Thatcher.

Tyler B. Smith, 27, Mount Vernon, faces child pornography charges for allegedly downloading child pornography onto a computer, last October.

Detective Tom Bumpus, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, investigated the Artripe, Ashcraft and Smith cases. Investigators from the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force assisted with the Smith investigation.

Kenneth L. McGregor, 37, and Marvin E. Cornette, 31, both of Mount Vernon, are accused of breaking and entering. Thatcher said on April 15, McGregor and Cornette allegedly broke into an unoccupied Madison Avenue residence to steal scrap metal. Deputy Scott Baker, KCSO, investigated the cases.

Matthew C. Hart, 22, and William J. Wheeler, 37, both of Mount Vernon, face breaking and entering and grand theft charges. Thatcher said on April 24, witnesses saw Hart and Wheeler allegedly break into a storage unit, in Fredericktown, and then steal over $17,000.00 worth of property belonging to a local manufacturing business. Lieutenant Roger Brown, FPD, arrived immediately after Hart and Wheeler finished loading the allegedly stolen property into their motor vehicle, then Brown made the arrests and recovered the property.

Michele L. Staples, 33, Columbus, and Jerry D. Neal, 33, Canal Winchester face theft from an elderly person charges. Staples and Neal are also accused of possessing stolen checks and forgery. Thatcher said Staples allegedly stole blank checks from a 76 year old Centerburg resident and Staples’ former employer, last December. Staples and Neal, her boyfriend at the time, then allegedly cashed the checks totaling $3,900.00. Detective David Light, KCSO, investigated the case.

Mark A. Banbury, 34, Danville, was indicted on charges of possessing stolen checks and forgery. On May 2, Banbury allegedly tried to cash a stolen check at a bank, in Danville. The investigation done by Sergeant Dan Weckesser, DPD, led to the discovery of three more stolen checks Banbury allegedly cashed at other County banks, on April 30 and May 1. Detective Light assisted with the investigation.

According to the indictment, Chad M. Morrison, 36, Mount Vernon, was previously convicted of domestic violence in the Mount Vernon Municipal Court, in 2002. Morrison is accused of felony domestic violence for allegedly assaulting his live-in girlfriend, on April 13. Patrol Officer Jessica Butler, MVPD, investigated the case.

Arraignment hearings in the cases are scheduled for May 17 at 9 a.m., before Common Pleas Court Judge Otho Eyster.



Joshua Morrison: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @


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