MOUNT VERNON — A Utica man admitted Wednesday to being in possession of grave markers stolen from a Knox County cemetery.
Dustin M. Johnson, 24, Utica, pleaded guilty in Knox County Common Pleas Court to one count of receiving stolen special purpose articles, a fifth-degree felony. The charge is an expansion on the statutes for receiving stolen property, to include certain items commonly stolen for their scrap metal value. This includes “brass grave markers among other items,” Knox County Prosecuting Attorney Chip McConville said.
The charge stems from July 13, when Johnson was found in possession of 43 veteran’s grave markers that were taken from a cemetery in Bladensburg.
Johnson further pleaded guilty Wednesday to breaking and entering and theft charges that stem from a prior, separate incident. Johnson broke into a structure in Frazeysburg Sept. 21, 2017, and stole tools valued at $2,619, McConville said.
Common Pleas Judge Richard Wetzel ordered a presentence investigation and scheduled sentencing on both cases for Oct. 10.
Also Wednesday, Raymond E. Garrison, 39, Mount Vernon, pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated possession of drugs and obstructing official business. The charges stem from Jan. 23, when Garrison was searched by a Mount Vernon Police officer who suspected Garrison had a concealed firearm. A small amount of meth was discovered. During the search, Garrison pulled away from the officer and was uncooperative.
The suspected firearm turned out to be a wooden dowel rod.
Common Pleas Judge Richard Wetzel ordered a presentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for Oct. 10.