COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – A Tuscarawas County Grand Jury indicted a former Bolivar police officer and the owner of a Strasburg gun shop on charges related to “an alleged scheme involving the purchase of ammunition,” according to Auditor of State Keith Faber.
Faber said former Bolivar 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.
According to a statement from Faber’s officer, the Auditor of State’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) launched an investigation in February 2022 after receiving information about an officer using Bolivar’s tax-exempt status and law enforcement discounts to purchase ammunition.
SIU determined that, during the coronavirus pandemic, when the private sale of ammunition was scarce, Stearns falsified documents to complete the ammunition purchase, allegedly for use by the Bolivar Police Department. The rounds, however, were picked up by Timberlake, and the Bolivar department had no knowledge of the transactions and received no ammunition for use by its officers according to the statement.
Faber said Stearns is currently a police officer in the Village of Sugarcreek and that arraignments are scheduled for Sept. 20.