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Ex-officer, gun shop owner charged in ammunition scheme

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(The Center Square) – An Ohio grand jury indicted a small-town police officer and gun shop owner in relation to a scheme involving ammunition, Ohio Auditor Keith Faber announced.

The auditor’s special investigation unit launched a probe in February 2022 into former Bolivar Police Officer Jeffery Stearns and G&R Tactical owner Grant Timberlake.

Both face felony counts of unlawful transfer of weapons, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, theft, telecommunications fraud, falsification in a theft offense and complicity. Stearns, now an officer in the village of Sugarcreek, is also charged with felony counts of tampering with records and money laundering, along with a misdemeanor count of representation by a public official.

The two are scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 20 in Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court.

The probe began after the investigation unit received information Bollivar allegedly used tax-exempt status and law enforcement discounts to buy ammunition.

Faber said in a news release that SIU determined that, during the coronavirus pandemic, when the private sale of ammunition was scarce, Stearns allegedly falsified documents to complete the ammunition purchase, allegedly for use by the Bolivar Police Department.

However, allegedly Timberlake picked up the rounds, and the Bolivar department had no knowledge of the transactions and received no ammunition for use by its officers, according to Faber.

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