Zwick child rape trial starts today

Updated: Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 6:33 AM
Published: Monday, January 07, 2013 @ 5:56 PM
By: Mark Gokavi - Staff Writer

Jason M. Zwick’s trial on three counts of felony rape against a child younger than 13 is set to begin Tuesday morning in Miami County Common Pleas Court in Troy.

The prosecution’s key witnesses will be the alleged victim and Kenneth H. Brandt, who pleaded guilty and was sentenced to at least 60 years in prison for raping three boys in his care. Brandt, who will testify for the prosecution to satisfy his plea agreement, didn’t want his case to go to trial because the boys would have to testify, his attorney said.

Zwick, 30, of Beavercreek, is accused of three counts of rape against one of Brandt’s sons after Zwick allegedly answered Brandt’s Craigslist ad for taboo sex. The indictment estimates the activity took place between Jan. 1, 2012 and Feb. 24, 2012. The case was brought forward after an Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigation resulted in charges against Brandt, Zwick and Dayton’s Patrick Rieder.

Represented by Joe Stadnicar, Zwick won’t get to directly face his accuser since Judge Christopher Gee ruled that the alleged victim can testify by closed-circuit television from another part of the building. Judge Gee turned down the defense’s request to have the boy speak in open court or testify in court with only “essential personnel.”

A Troy police report about the incidents describe an interview the boy gave to police in which he referred to anatomically correct photos of nude males and described who did what between himself and Zwick.

In the interview, the boy told investigators Brandt told him he would be having sex with another man that night. The boy said he was awake in his bed while Brandt and Zwick were “in the hot tub out back.” The boy then provided other information about the encounter.

The trial is going ahead after Gee overruled a defense motion for continuation during a Monday hearing because Stadnicar alleged that “key witnesses for the state may have been tampered with and compromised.”

Stadnicar said Brandt’s mother used her cell phone to take a picture or video of Zwick in the Miami County Jail during a visitation when Zwick’s family was visiting. Stadnicar argued the photos could be used to coach witnesses to identify Zwick. Prosecutors argued that ample photos of Zwick were available by many sources and that Brandt’s mother’s photos would be of no use to the prosecution.

Brandt’s Montgomery County case with seven rape-related charges also ended in a plea agreement. His sentencing is set for Feb. 26. Rieder faces four counts of rape of a child younger than 13 and 75 more counts mostly involving illegal use of and pandering obscenity involving a minor. Rieder’s trial is scheduled for Feb. 19.

Florida man sentenced in Rogaine theft case

Updated: Thursday, December 08, 2016 @ 7:24 AM
By: Larry Budd - Staff Writer

            Florida man sentenced in Rogaine theft case
Andres W. Arias, 36, of Boca Raton, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Warren County Common Pleas Court to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a second degree felony. He paid $22,000 in restitution and agreed to a two-year prison sentence.

A Florida man repaid $22,000 and has been sentenced to two years in prison for stealing Rogaine and other merchandise from stores in Ohio.

Andres W. Arias, 36, of Boca Raton, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Warren County Common Pleas Court to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a second degree felony. He paid $22,000 in restitution and agreed to a two-year prison sentence.

According to a press release, between December 2015 and February 2016, Arias worked within a criminal network from Florida and New Jersey to steal from Walgreens stores in Cuyahoga County, Hamilton County, Summit County and Warren County, and from CVS stores in Summit County.

As part of the scheme, Arias flew to targeted cities, rented vehicles and drove to targeted stores. Once inside the stores, he concealed store items including products such as Rogaine, Prevagen, and Alli in false pockets in his pants and left without paying for them. Then he shipped the stolen merchandise to associates in New Jersey, who deposited money into his bank account.

The case was prosecuted by attorneys from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, including its Economic Crimes Unit. It was investigated by the Mason Police Department and the Attorney General’s Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Special Investigations Unit and Criminal Intelligence Unit.

Third person sought in Jamestown shots-fired incident is in custody

Updated: Wednesday, December 07, 2016 @ 11:54 PM
By: Breaking News Staff

UPDATE @ 11:35 p.m.: A Greene County man sought by authorities for his suspected involvement in a drive-by shooting remains in jail on a charge accusing him of failure to appear.

Christopher George, 27, was taken into custody about 4 p.m. from an address on North Buckles Avenue in Jamestown, according to online jail records.

George turned himself in, according to authorities.

The village police chief said neighbors have no reason to worry because the investigation points to the incident as being a targeted attack.

UPDATE @ 12:29 p.m. (Dec. 7): Jamestown police have identified the third shooting suspect wanted in the East Xenia Street shooting that left one person injured Wednesday morning.

Christopher George, 27, is the man wanted by Jamestown police. He’s described as 5-feet-8 inches tall, 180 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes. If you have information about George’s location, contact Jamestown police or your local police department.


Police in Jamestown have arrested two people and are looking for a third after a shooting occurred on East Xenia Street.

One person suffered what are believed to be minor injuries in the incident, which happened around 1 a.m., according to Jamestown Police Chief Rodger Tyree.

The injuries may be from shrapnel after a round struck the front door of the home, Tyree said.

Witnesses told officers a vehicle pulled up to the house and one male got out and fired three rounds at the home, then jumped in the vehicle and sped away, Tyree said.

Two people are in custody — A juvenile and an adult — and police continue to look for a third “person of interest,” Tyree said.

We’re working to gather more details on this investigation.

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Deputies looking for ‘clumsy bandit’ who stole from St. Clair gun shop

Updated: Wednesday, December 07, 2016 @ 9:29 PM
By: News Staff

Butler County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for a man who tripped as he broke into the Lake Bailee gun range on Thanksgiving Day.

The man, who investigators believe they have identified, stole $3,800 on his way out of the building, according to our news partner WCPO. Because of his awkward entrance into Jesse VonStein’s business, he’s earned the nickname of the “clumsy bandit.”

Security cameras inside the building on Jackson Road just north of Hamilton captured the suspect tumbling through a window before heading right where VonStein kept the money.

Cameras were installed in the business after someone stole several guns from VonStein’s range in September, according to WPCO. VonStein plans to install more cameras after this latest break-in.

“I’ve got cameras all over this place,” VonStein said told WCPO. “Anybody that comes in, they are going to get caught.”

Detective Aaron Sorrell of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that police had identified a suspect in the case but had not made an arrest.

Woman accused of collecting $320K in benefits from 3 dead husbands

Updated: Wednesday, December 07, 2016 @ 9:07 PM
Published: Wednesday, December 07, 2016 @ 8:54 PM

            Woman accused of collecting $320K in benefits from 3 dead husbands
An Orange County woman is accused of using her three dead husbands to illegally cash in on more than $320,000 in government benefits.

An Orlando, Florida, woman is accused of using her three dead husbands to illegally cash in on more than $320,000 in government benefits.

Investigators said she collected Veterans Affairs, Medicare and Social Security benefits for each of the men even though she remarried.

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Cynthia Brunat, 74, was arrested on suspicion of what investigators said was an organized fraud scheme involving federal benefits.

When asked about the allegations, Brunat said she had no idea about the charges.

“The benefits were directly linked to several for the husbands she was married to,” said Capt. Evangelina Brooks, of the Division of Insurance Fraud.

Investigators said Brunat has been married five times; three of her husbands are deceased, including Jesse Wachter.

In 2014, Wachter's body was found buried face down in his Lake County backyard.

Investigators said he had been bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer.

His son, Jesse Jordan, remains in jail on murder charges.

But during Wachter's 14-year marriage to Brunat, investigators said Brunat applied for Social Security, Medicare and VA benefits connected to two of her former husbands—and never disclosed she had married Wachter.

In all, she received more than $320,000 in benefits to which investigators said she wasn't entitled.

It all came to light after she applied for benefits using Wachter's name after he was killed.

The Division of Insurance Fraud said the $320,000 was calculated covering 12 years while she was married to her most recent husband, but it is still working with federal agencies to find out if more money is involved.


Cynthia Brunat Dec 07, 2016 - 9:07 PM