4 possible motives in Pike County Ohio murders

Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 @ 12:33 PM
Updated: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 @ 2:58 PM

No arrests have been made in the Ohio shooting investigation of eight execution-style killings of members of the Rhoden family last week in Pike County, Ohio.

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Large-scale marijuana grow operations were discovered at three of the four murder scenes.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine told the Dayton Daily News on Monday that the possibility of a Mexican drug cartel connection has not been ruled out and that investigators are looking at everything.

Here are four possible motives:

Mexican drug cartel

In 2010, state officials announced the seizure of 22,000 marijuana plants in the village of Latham -- 15 miles west of Piketon -- and said they suspected a connection to Mexican drug cartels.

In August 2012, Ohio law enforcement officers found “a major marijuana grow site in Pike County with suspected ties to a Mexican drug cartel,” according to a news release that DeWine’s office issued at the time. Investigators said they discovered about 1,200 marijuana plants, which were destroyed, and they also found evidence of two abandoned campsites that they believe belonged to Mexican nationals.

The marijuana grow operations that authorities discovered appeared to be for commercial use and not personal use.

“We’re running these leads out,” DeWine told CBS News. “But there’s many different theories.”

The marijuana grow operations were not simply a few random plants in a field somewhere, the Columbus Dispatch reported from an interview with Pike County Prosecutor Rob Junk. He told Dispatch reporters that at least one was indoors and there appeared to be several hundred plants.

“It wasn’t just somebody sitting pots in the window,” Junk told the Dispatch.

"CBS This Morning" reported that the street value of the marijuana found is nearly $500,000.

“There’s a drug problem in most areas around here,” Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said.

Family feud

The identities of the eight people killed are Hannah Gilley, 20; Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40; Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16; Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20; Dana Rhoden, 37; Gary Rhoden, 38; Hanna Rhoden, 19; and Kenneth Rhoden, 44.

While nothing has been ruled out, it is unlikely that it was a random act of violence or a crime committed by another member of the Rhoden family, authorities said.

“This is a pre-planned execution of eight individuals. It was a sophisticated operation, and those who carried it out were trying to do everything they could do to hinder the investigation and their prosecution,” DeWine said. “We don’t know if it was one or two (shooters).”

Reader said the victims did not have previous criminal contact with his office.

Seven of the victims were found in three Union Hill Road homes in Piketon, while the eighth was found within a 10-minute drive from the other victims, most of whom were executed while they were in bed. All were killed during the nighttime hours.

Three children -- a 4-day-old, a 6-month-old and a 3-year-old -- were found unharmed at the scenes.

At Sunday’s news conference, Reader said he warned other Rhoden family members to be on guard.

Leonard Manley, the father of victim Dana Rhoden, called whoever committed the murders “a bunch of scumbags” who know the family.

“Whoever done it knows the family,” Manley said. “(Because) there were two dogs there that would eat you up. But I ain’t going to say no more.”

Manley, who is still shaken up about the the loss of this relatives, said his daughter was a kind person who would “give you the shirt off her back,” and people in the area were aware of her kindness.

He learned about the deaths Friday morning from another one of his daughters, who discovered the victims and called him, Manley said, noting that he’s taken the sheriff’s advice and has armed himself.

Facebook threat

DeWine said his office has “received over 100 tips, conducted over 50 to 60 interviews (and) over 100 personnel were involved in this investigation.”

Two of those individuals interviewed were Isaiah Jones and Rusty Mongold.

Jones told CBS News that he was detained at gunpoint during a traffic stop. He was questioned for six hours, then released.

“I really want people to know I had nothing to do with it,” a tearful Jones said. “These were also friends of mine and that I went to school with.”

Mongold, Jones’ friend, said in a Facebook post that he had nothing to do with the shooting and that he went to the sheriff’s office to clear his name and submit a DNA sample.

The recent Facebook post stemmed from an April 12 Facebook post that alluded to a “kid that hit (Mongold) with his car” and wanting to “beat his skull in,” a perceived threat against the youngest murder victim.

A commenter asks if it’s Chris Rhoden, and Mongold responds, “Yes.”

Cockfighting ring

DeWine said that he can’t definitively say that the Rhoden family was involved in cockfighting.

But when he visited one of the crime scenes Friday, he said he noticed roosters in cages that are normally associated with cockfighting.

Florida man arrested after bombs, ammo, school maps found in home

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 9:55 PM

This undated photo released by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, shows Randall Drake in Fla. Sheriff's deputies conducting a child porn raid on Drake's Florida home found an arsenal of guns and explosives and a homemade silencer, along with a note promising
This undated photo released by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, shows Randall Drake in Fla. Sheriff's deputies conducting a child porn raid on Drake's Florida home found an arsenal of guns and explosives and a homemade silencer, along with a note promising "bloody revenge."(Pinellas County Sheriff's Office via AP)

A Florida man was arrested after homemade bombs, an AK-47 assault rifle, ammunition and school maps were discovered inside his bedroom. 

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said in a news conference Thursday that deputies were set to search the home Randall Drake, 24, of Dunedin, Florida, shared with his parents for a child pornography investigation.

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During a search of Drake’s bedroom on Wednesday, authorities said detectives found explosives and numerous firearms in a locked closet, The Associated Press reported.

The weapons included the following:

  • An AK-47 rifle with a 60-round clip
  • A .308-caliber rifle
  • A .50-caliber pistol
  • A 12-gauge shotgun
  • Numerous other handguns
  • About 15 knives
  • A baseball bat with protruding nails in it 
  • A crossbow
  • Brass knuckles
  • A container of gunpowder
  • More than 2,300 rounds of ammunition
  • Three incendiary devices
  • A homemade silencer
  • Tactical vests

Detectives also said they found a map and aerial images of an elementary and middle school in Tampa, Florida, as well as the Hillsborough County Water Treatment Plant. According to deputies, journals and a handwritten letter that talked about revenge were also discovered.

In this undated photo released by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, a weapons cache is shown in the home of Randall Drake.(Pinellas County Sheriff's Office via AP/AP)

Gualtieri said his office is trying to figure out why Drake had the incendiary devices and what he was going to do with them.

Drake has since posted $20,000 bond. He faces two charges of unlawfully making, possessing or attempting to make a destructive device.

NEW DETAILS: Police used GPS data to find Dayton man’s body in creek

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 6:18 PM

Charles Romine
Charles Romine

GPS data was received during the 911 call Charles Romine made Sept. 18 when he was confused about where he was, but dispatchers “are trained that the primary source of location information comes from the caller,” according to a statement sent out Friday afternoon by Dayton police.

Romine, 71, was found dead two days later — Sept. 20 — at least three miles northwest of the downtown Dayton location he described in his 2:22 p.m. call Sept. 18.

The statement said historical GPS data was used by a Special Victims Unit detective to locate Romine’s deceased body in Wolf Creek near the area of Philadelphia Drive and James H. McGee Boulevard. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said it will not comment until its investigation is complete.

RELATED: Family, friend talked to 911 the day before man’s body was found in creek

“The Dayton Police Department extends our sincere condolences to the family of Charles Romine regarding their loss,” the Friday release said. “Several attempts have been made to meet in person with members of Mr. Romine’s family to inform them about the investigation and the extensive efforts of the Dayton Police Department to locate Mr. Romine.”

The statement said: “In examining the original dispatch record, it was learned that GPS data which contains longitude and latitude information was received during the initial 911 call from Mr. Romine’s cell phone.”

Dayton police denied a public records request from this news organization for internal emails about the efforts to get information from Romine’s cell phone provider.

When Romine called 911, he said: “I need a rescue. I’ve been on these rocks for, like, three hours.”

RELATED: Vigil for Dayton man found in Wolf Creek turns into call for justice

He also said he didn’t want to be humiliated, but that he knew he needed help. “I don’t want to be looking embarrassed, that’s the main thing,” Romine told the dispatcher. “But I don’t want to lose my life, either.”

Dayton police’s Friday statement also said: “At times, the GPS coordinates are not available or can be less accurate than the information provided by a caller. Hence, Montgomery County Regional Dispatch personnel relied upon location information as provided by Mr. Romine.”

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The statement provided a series of some events “after an internal review of records and information from Montgomery County Dispatch Center.” They included: Romine called 911 and said he was in the alley across from the Community Blood Center; A Check Welfare call was generated and two officers responded; Dispatchers called Romine’s number twice but could not get through.

On Sept. 19, Romine’s relatives reported him missing and two Dayton officers were dispatched. At the request of officers, the regional dispatch center attempted to locate current GPS coordinates from the cellular phone provider, but Romine’s cellular phone was not communicating with the network, according to the statement.

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Romine’s family planned to meet at 1 p.m. Saturday on the bridge over Wolf Creek to march to the Dayton police department and City Hall. The family has told this news organization that they feel the case was an injustice.

Dayton police said the investigation into Romine’s death is still open pending a coroner’s report..

Moraine police shooting: Who is Jamarco McShann?

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 2:57 PM

Jamarco McShann
Jamarco McShann

The man shot by Moraine police early Friday wrote he “DID NOT think like a productive member of society” and asked for mental health assistance, according to a motion for judicial release he filed Nov. 24, 2015, while he was a prisoner at Lebanon Correctional Institution.

Jamarco D. McShann, 23, was shot and killed by Moraine police Friday morning while two officers responded to a suspicious vehicle report. Moraine police Chief Craig Richardson said McShann pointed a handgun at the officers.

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Jamarco McShann filed two separate motions for judicial release during his three-year sentence for three cases, the most recent one for having weapons under disability.

Jamarco McShann is the younger brother of Curtis McShann, who was sentenced earlier this month to 60 years to life in prison for the shooting death of Brandon Lanier in 2016.

RELATED: Dayton man guilty of murder in 2016 slaying

Jamarco McShann also had a younger brother, Jamal McShann, who was shot to death in October 2013 in Dayton.

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“I might have a chemical imbalance that causes me to have irrational thoughts,” Jamarco McShann wrote while requesting a release to join the MonDay treatment program. “The prison that I am in does not offer a class or counseling which will give me an in-depth look into my mind and why I think this way.”

Jamarco McShann was released from prison Aug. 2, 2016. Neither of his two motions for judicial release were granted by Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Dennis Adkins.

In the November 2015 motion, McShann wrote that his institutional record “is not without imperfections” and that his fiance and young son were struggling financially.

6 officer-involved shootings in the area in the last year

He also wrote that two out of three children in the United States with at least one parent incarcerated go on to become incarcerated themselves.

PHOTOS: Scene of the shooting

“Although going to the MonDay program won’t allow me to help them financially,” he wrote, “it would help me figure out why I think this way and then I can help my son think in a more productive way.”

In a May 2015 motion for judicial release, McShann wrote that he and eight siblings were raised by his mother and he was working toward his GED despite learning disabilities.

“Mr. McShann is adamant on obtaining legal employment, and working his way up the ladder legally” said that motion, written in third person, later adding that he “has evolved into a new man who is ready to live a productive and positive life in society, not prison.”

FBI raids property; owner has sued local, federal government

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 5:25 PM

Police have the 2300 block of Schelly Road closed.

The Spring Valley man whose home was raided by law enforcement for the second time in two years is a former Wright-Patterson Air Force Base employee who twice sued the federal government and has a pending appeal against Greene County for malicious prosecution, according to court documents.

The 2302 Schnebly Road home of Joel Montgomery, 48, was raided Thursday morning by FBI, ATF and other law enforcement agencies acting on a federal search warrant, according to FBI spokesman Todd Lindgren. Montgomery was arrested and is in Montgomery County Jail awaiting a court hearing.

Lindgren didn’t confirm or deny if the raid was in connection to a 2015 raid of the property by Greene County Sheriff’s deputies. Lindgren said all court documents related to Thursday’s raid were under seal in federal court.

RELATED: Property owner arrested, FBI searching his property

The 2015 raid netted 175 weapons but Greene County prosecutors dismissed the second-degree misdemeanor case against Montgomery onSept. 30, 2015, according to common pleas and municipal court records obtained by this news organization.

In September 2016, Montgomery sued Greene County’s sheriff, county commissioners and the prosecutor’s office, alleging malicious prosecution tied to the 2015 raid. Montgomery’s attorney in that case didn’t return a message seeking comment. A message left seeking comment was not immediately returned by the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office.

Xenia Municipal Court records indicate a neighbor said he thought Montgomery fired shots that went above a makeshift shooting backstop on his property and struck the neighbor’s detached garage, bike trailer and pickup in June 2015.

RELATED: Dozens of firearms seized in Greene County

“How’s this gonna end boys?” one deputy said Montgomery remarked when they investigated the claim, according to a statement of facts filed in court.

One deputy “observed what he described to be approx. one thousand spent casings of what appeared to him to be .223 caliber ammunition at the front door of suspect Montgomery’s residence,” according to the statement of facts.

The deputies also heard what sounded like automatic gunfire after they left Montgomery’s home but didn’t leave the area that same day, according to the statement of facts.

Montgomery’s lawsuit against Greene County noted a June 24, 2015 search warrant, but Xenia Municipal Court officials had no access Friday to such a document, so any search warrant could be under seal.

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Montgomery alleged in the Greene County lawsuit that his ex-wife received calls from the sheriff’s office that their children were in danger and that deputies were looking for derogatory information to provide to Children Services.

The lawsuit said Greene County law enforcement seized all computer equipment, all weapons, all antique guns, parts, cash, gold and other valuables. The suit asked for more than $325,000 in damages.

Montgomery’s lawsuit ultimately was dismissed by visiting Judge James Brogan. In July 2017, Montgomery appealed the decision to the Second District Court of Appeals, where it is ongoing.

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Montgomery sued the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Air Force, the Air Force’s office of special investigation and some individuals alleging unlawful electronic surveillance of him, according to a complaint filed in 2013 in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.

In that lawsuit, Montgomery said he found a GPS device underneath his vehicle, a camera in the WPAFB office in which he worked and a bug in his home, all from 2006 to 2007. At the time, Montgomery said he had certain security clearance and worked for the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) and at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), according to the complaint.

Montgomery’s suit said that from 2002 to 2004 he was a program manager in charge of the Electro-Optical Materials Intelligence Group of GDAIS, a Dept. of Defense contractor.

The complaint said that because of derogatory information, Montgomery was placed on leave without pay and later terminated. Messages seeking comment from GDAIS and Montgomery’s federal lawsuit attorney were not immediately returned.

Both federal suits ended with a stipulation of dismissal filed in August 2014.