Ashtabula County man charged with abuse of corpse also investigated for human trafficking

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ROAMING SHORES, Ohio- The man taken into custody at a Roaming Shores home, where police found human bones, is now being investigated for human trafficking.

Authorities from the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation converged on a house on Route 6 as part of a drug investigation on Thursday.

Investigators checked a backyard fire pit for evidence related to the destruction of drugs and found what appeared to be bones, the sheriff’s office said. They stopped searching and applied for a second search warrant to access the entire property. The coroner confirmed the bones are human.

James Brooks, 40, was arraigned Friday.

Agents did several controlled buys of coke and heroin from Brooks, the sheriff’s department said. He’s charged with abuse of a corpse, having weapons under disability, tampering with evidence and drug trafficking. Prosecutors said more serious charges are expected.

During his arraignment, the judge set Brooks’ bond was set at $700,000. He already has a lengthy criminal history with possible ties to human trafficking.

Weeks ago, police searched the same house for missing Warren girl Alisha Bell. The sheriff’s office said Bell was with Brooks when she was later seen.

Continuing coverage of the Roaming Shores investigation here

Twenty people were indicted on drug charges unrelated to this case. Eight of those people were arrested and appeared in court on Friday.

Google Map for coordinates 41.643111 by -80.823420.

Roaming Shores, Ohio

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