Sex offender admits crime; identity fraud suspect gets community control

A Kenton man admitted he sexually molested two young girls, and a Columbus man charged for trying to use credit cards created with stolen information was placed on probation during a busy day Monday in Logan County Common Pleas Court.

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Kenton man admits molesting local girls

A Kenton man pleaded guilty during the hearings to sex crimes involving two Bellefontaine girls.

Steven L. Treen, 42, admitted to two counts of gross sexual imposition for incidents in 2012 involving two girls, who were ages 12 and 14 at the time.

The charge relating to the girl who was 12 is a third-degree felony and carries a possibility of five years in prison, while the other charge is a fourth-degree felony and carries a sentence of up to 18 months, Judge Mark S. O’Connor told the defendant prior to setting his sentencing date for Feb. 9. Both charges carry requirements that he register as a sex offender.

Two counts of rape were dismissed in exchange for the plea.

Identity fraud suspect gets community control

One of two men charged in June with a credit card scam was sentenced to community control and ordered to pay fines for his involvement in the crime.

Mamadou Abda Ba, 25, of Columbus, previously had entered guilty pleas to two counts of identity fraud for trying to purchase cigarettes with fraudulent gift cards that had been altered and encoded with stolen information. He and Isaac Weah, 44, of Columbus, originally had been charged with 39 counts of identity fraud and one count of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program fraud.

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Mr. Ba and Mr. Weah were arrested June 12 after employees of Village Pantry, 209 Orchard Island Road, Russells Point, became suspicious when one of the two attempted to use five different credit cards, all of which failed, and then fled the store nervously. Store employees notified authorities and the two men were stopped and arrested nearby.

Judge O’Connor noted that Mr. Ba had a “spotless record up to this point” before ordering him to complete three years of community control and pay 10 percent of his paychecks from his employment at a Columbus retail warehouse until he has paid off a $500 fine, court costs and attorney fees.

Mr. Weah has entered guilty pleas to two counts of complicity to identity fraud and will be sentenced Jan. 20.

Other sentences

Darren Drake, 34, of Bellefontaine, was placed on five years’ community control, ordered to compete 120 hours of community service and must pay a $1,000 fine, court costs and attorney fees for tampering with evidence.

Mr. Drake was charged for removing stolen guns from the home of Jason Gauntt just days after a May incident in which Mr. Gauntt had been arrested for trying to smuggle two guns out of AcuSport where he was working.

Mr. Drake told Judge O’Connor he did not know the guns were stolen when Mr. Gauntt called him from jail and asked him to remove the weapons form the home. Judge O’Connor warned Mr. Drake that he should not have “a head-in-the-sand mentality” about his actions with a prison sentence now hanging over his head.

Mr. Gauntt already has been sentenced to three years in prison for theft of firearms.

• Ricky Lee Fooce, 22, of Bellefontaine, was ordered to complete a mental health program at Fout’s Personal Care Facility in Ironton as part of his community control sanctions for a theft-from-the-elderly charge.

He was arrested in September for taking jewelry from 76-year-old Shirley O’Brien and then attempting to lie and dispose of the stolen items.

Mr. Fooce, who receives mental health assistance from a variety of local social service agencies, told Judge O’Connor he knew his actions were wrong and that he “would take it back if (he) could.”

He was also ordered to pay $740 in restitution to the victim.

• Daniel Johnson, 34, of Bellefontaine, was ordered to spend two years in prison for one count of aggravated arson.

• Christopher A. King, 27, of Bellefontaine, was placed on five years’ community control, ordered to complete 120 hours of community service and must pay court costs and attorney fees for a possession of drugs charge.

• Carrie A. Zweifel, 46, of West Liberty, was placed on the drug intervention program for possession of heroin and drug abuse instrument charges related to an Aug. 5 overdose incident at her home.

Pleas entered

Scot Foreman, 28, of Sidney, entered a guilty plea to one count of trafficking in heroin for a Sept. 23, 2013, controlled buy by officers of the Logan County Joint Drug Task Force in Quincy where Mr. Foreman was residing at the time. He will be sentenced Feb. 2.

• Anthony Johnson, 29, of Bellefontaine, entered a guilty plea to a second-degree felony count of burglary for removing a window air conditioner and entering the home of a city woman without permission on July 27. He threatened and fought with the woman and a man. He was released on a recognizance bond and will be sentenced Feb. 9.

• Harley H. Hefner, 22, of Lakeview, admitted to two counts of burglary and one count of breaking and entering for a series of thefts around Indian Lake in early 2014. He will be sentenced Feb. 9.

• Jennifer Smith, 33, of Springfield, pleaded guilty to one of three counts of nonsupport of dependents and will be sentenced Feb. 9.