RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
The Scioto County grand jury has returned 14 public indictments, Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn said, including several as a result of arrests recently made in the village of New Boston.
Among the indicted was Clifton Denham Payne, age 43, of Ironton, on 30 counts of forgery and four counts of telecommunications fraud.
According to New Boston Police Capt. Steve Goins, Phillip and Kim Benton of Rush, Ky., reported June 8 that someone had counterfeited one of their personal checks and cashed it at the New Boston Walmart for $435 and purchased a flat-screen television. The Bentons also reported fraudulent purchases at stores in Kentucky and West Virginia, where counterfeit checks and expensive items also were purchased.
Goins said police obtained surveillance footage of the incident and warned Walmart security personnel to watch for the suspect in the video. Walmart security personnel then reported to New Boston police on June 22 that the suspect used another fraudulent check to buy a flat-screen television for $370.
As the suspect was leaving Walmart, Goins said, New Boston police officers detained the man, who reportedly gave officers a false name and used a fake identification card. Once under arrest, Goins said the suspect’s real name and ID card were revealed, and Payne was arrested. Payne reportedly also possessed two other fake ID cards and the counterfeit bank check he used at Walmart, and indicated there was a large quantity of counterfeit checks and fake ID cards in the vehicle he was driving.
Goins said police discovered during their interview with Payne that he is involved in a large multiple state forgery ring where Payne is one of many people involved in going around the tri-state area and cashing counterfeit checks and having stolen identity information from multiple victims. So far, Goins said, possible incidents include Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.
Goins said police believe the victims’ personal identity information was hacked or stolen from some type of database and the suspected forgery ring made counterfeit checks with the victims’ names on them and fake identification cards with the victims’ names on them. In Payne’s case, at least, his photograph was on the ID card to evade detection, Goins said.
Also indicted from New Boston was Latasha Bailey, age 26, on five counts of trafficking in drugs within the vicinity of a school, trafficking in counterfeit controlled substances within the vicinity of a school, and permitting drug abuse.
According to Goins, his department executed a search warrant at 3830 Rhodes Ave., in New Boston, at 5:31 p.m. on July 5, after an investigation revealed that Bailey had been selling crack cocaine from her house. After the search, Bailey was arrested on scene and taken to the Scioto County Jail.
Another indictment resulting from a New Boston arrest was Michael Bashaw, age 28, of Columbus, on a failure to appear charge.
According to Goins, New Boston Police Lt. Diane Davis responded to the Kiwanis Apartment complex in New Boston on June 7 to investigate a complaint by the Portsmouth Police Department of possible stolen property in a truck parked in the complex. Police said Mitchell Brothers Tires in Portsmouth reported being burglarized several nights before. Tire rims and other property were reported stolen.
Portsmouth Police also responded to the scene, where a 2004 Dodge truck was parked and property stolen from Mitchell Brothers was recovered from the bed of the truck. Lt. Davis identified Bashaw as the driver and person who was in possession of the truck. Davis said the truck was reported stolen from Columbus and the license plate was reported stolen and did not belong on the truck.
Kuhn explained that Bashaw was originally indicted on July 18 for receiving stolen property and was scheduled for arraignment on Aug. 1 but he did not show for his court appearance.
Also indicted by the Scioto County grand jury last week was Rakeem Blair of Springfield, for possession of crack cocaine tampering with evidence; Antonio Spikes of Cincinnati for having a weapon while under a disability, carrying a concealed weapon, escape, possession of crack cocaine, tampering with evidence, and obstructing official business; Carl Blankenship of Kitts Hill, Ohio, for assault; Terry Bradley of Portsmouth, for aggravated possession of drugs; Brenda Adkins of Portsmouth, for theft; Clarissa Hersman of West Portsmouth, for aggravated possession of drugs; Michael Swords, address unknown, for receiving stolen property; Terra Rose of Lucasville, for theft, forgery, and theft from elder person or disabled adult; Ralph Litteral of South Webster, for burglary and criminal trespass; James Litteral of South Webster, for burglary and criminal trespass; and Christopher Litteral of South Webster, for criminal trespass.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.