According to Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher, the Grand Jury returned eleven indictments on Monday, including importuning charges against two men who allegedly sent emails and text messages to “minors” asking for sex. The minors were really personas adopted by a Sheriff’s investigator, and both men were arrested by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office at locations in Mount Vernon where they had pre-arranged to meet the minors.

Leo L. Jones, 42, Mount Vernon, allegedly sent text messages to a “12 year of boy” asking the boy to have oral and anal sex with him, on June 10. Thatcher said Jones’ importuning charge is a felony of the second degree, carrying a mandatory prison term of at least two and not more than eight years, because Jones has a prior conviction for a felony sex offense. Jones was also indicted for disseminating matter harmful to juveniles because he allegedly photographed his genitals and sent a photo to the boy.

Anthony J. Ferritto, 44, traveled from Chagrin Falls to Mount Vernon on June 4, allegedly to have sex with a “15 year old girl.” Ferritto is charged with importuning and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles because he allegedly photographed his genitals and sent a photo to the girl.

Jones and Ferritto are currently being held in the Knox County Jail. Bond hearings will be held later this week. Deputy Dan Bobo investigated the Jones and Ferritto cases. Deputy Bobo received training for Internet persona investigations from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Stephen S. Randrup, 34, Mount Vernon, faces charges of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles for allegedly taking photographs of his genitals, and then giving the photos to a 14 year old girl, on November 7, 2012. Mount Vernon Municipal Court records show that Randrup was convicted of misdemeanor public indecency charges last week.

Dwayne E. Nethers, 31, Fredericktown, is accused of aggravated arson in connection with a fire at his residence, on June 5. Investigator Jason Whaley, State Fire Marshall’s Office, concluded that the fire was incendiary in nature having allegedly been started in two, unconnected areas of the residence by igniting accelerants with an open flame. Thatcher said Nethers’ family was present in the residence at the time of the alleged arson.

Three people face heroin charges in connection with alleged drug activity at a North Gay Street residence, in March. Joshua T. Jacobs, 29, Aubry M. Leasure, 30, and Raymond L. Williams, 43, allegedly sold heroin to a confidential informant, on March 5, 7 and 8. All three are charged with trafficking in heroin and possession of heroin. Jacobs and Leasure were also charged with permitting drug abuse for allowing the North Gay Street residence to be used for the alleged drug activity. Detective Doug Turpen, KCSO, investigated the cases.

Jeremiah W. Mason, 31, Mount Vernon, is accused of aggravated possession of drugs for allegedly possessing 14 Oxycodone tablets, on April 8. Thatcher said Patrol Officer Beth Marti, Mount Vernon Police Department, found the alleged drug during a search incident to Mason’s arrest on a petty theft charge.

Mother and daughter Elizabeth L. Dowalter, 34, and Carole L. Schneider, 56, both of Mount Vernon, are accused of illegal use of supplemental nutrition benefits (“food stamps”) for allegedly using an Ohio Direction Card illegally. On May 23, Dowalter was booked into the Knox County Jail for a community control supervision violation. Court records show that Dowalter was convicted of theft of drugs in April, and she is accused of using heroin while on supervision for that charge. During the booking process, Jailers allegedly found a Direction Card in Dowalter’s possession displaying another person’s name. Schneider also allegedly possessed the card. Detective James Ferenbaugh and Lieutenant Gary Rohler, KCSO, investigated the case.

Timothy W. Dugger, 29, Mount Vernon, was indicted on felony assault charges for allegedly breaking the finger of a 46 year old female acquaintance, on May 16. Thatcher said Dugger and the alleged victim were having an argument in her residence. Patrolman Tim Arnold, MVPD, investigated the case.

Arraignment hearings in the cases are scheduled for June 28 at 9 a.m., before Common Pleas Court Judge Otho Eyster.



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


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