Volume 11, Issue 1

A Publication of the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services, a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety

January 3, 2014

News and Announcements

OCJS Special Report: 2012 Hate Crime Statistics in U.S. and Ohio

In November 2013, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released the publication, Hate Crime Statistics 2012. Produced in compliance with the federal Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990, the publication has been released annually since 1992.

Hate crimes, also known as bias crimes, are criminal offenses committed against a person, property, or society that are motivated, in part or in whole, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.

The report is based on data submitted to the FBI’s hate crime statistics program through a standardized hate crime supplement to UCR and NIBRS reports. Nationally, 13,022 law enforcement agencies representing 79.3 percent of the nation’s population participated in UCR hate crime reporting in 2012.

The information contained in this report is subject to strenuous qualifiers. As the FBI report itself states, “Because motivation is subjective, it is sometimes difficult to know with certainty whether a crime resulted from the offender’s bias. Moreover, the presence of bias alone does not necessarily mean that a crime can be considered a hate crime.” Law enforcement investigation must reveal with sufficient evidence to lead a person to conclude that the offender’s actions were motivated in whole or in part by his or her bias.

The following is a brief review of this year’s report. Whenever available, Ohio statistics are reported, and may be supplemented by U.S. statistics.

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DOJ Access to Justice Initiative Works for Inclusive System Planning for Byrne JAG Grantees

In 2012, nearly $300 million in federal Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) funding was allocated by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to support state, local, and tribal governments in implementing innovative approaches in a wide range of criminal justice program areas. Defenders, however, have not consistently been a part of state and local planning processes for allocating Byrne JAG funds, and have not consistently received a portion of these funds. Funds dedicated to indigent defense constitute only about 3 percent of all criminal justice expenditures in our nation’s largest localities.

The Justice Department’s Access to Justice Initiative and BJA have been working together to promote increased representation of the indigent defense community on state and local advisory committees responsible for allocating Byrne JAG and other criminal justice funds.

Since 2010, indigent defense has been identified by the Justice Department as one of several key priority areas for maximizing the effectiveness of Byrne JAG funding. The most recent Byrne JAG solicitation stated that the strategic planning process should include a variety of partners, including law enforcement, courts, prosecutors, indigent defense providers, victim advocates, and corrections officials. For the first time, it also required applicants to submit a program narrative that not only describes the strategic planning process, but also identifies the stakeholders currently participating in the process.

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SSA Launches Webpage with Information on Benefits After Incarceration

The Social Security Administration has launched a new reentry section on its website with information about services available to help returning offenders receive benefits after incarceration. The page includes frequently asked questions and links to other services.

Visit the new webpage here.

Training and Technical Assistance

Free Grant Writing Seminars

OCJS is hosting free Grant Writing seminars in 2014. OCJS’s grant trainings provide an overview of identifying grant sources, analyzing program objectives, creating a budget, seeking letters of support, and writing proposals. Federal and state grants available to criminal justice professionals are discussed. Mark your calendars for the 2014 grant writing seminar schedule: January 7, February 4, April 1, May 6, June 3, August 5, October 7 and December 2.

It's Free! Evidence-Based Policing Training

The Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy and the Center for Justice Leadership and Management at George Mason University (GMU), with support from BJA and the Police Foundation, have brought together the top experts in the field of evidence-based policing for leadership training for first and second line law enforcement supervisors. The training will be held January 24, 2014, from 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., at the GMU-Arlington Campus. For more information on the event and to register, click here. Space is limited to the first 125 registrants.

Cops In Court: Officer Trial Preparation, Testimony, Evidence in OVI Cases

January 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Ross County Service Center
475 Western Ave., Chillicothe, Ohio

February 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Johnstown Police Department
599 South Main Street, Johnstown, OH 43031

March 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
William Burgett Learning Center
585 Upper Fredericktown Road (aka 125 Mt. Vernon Avenue), Fredericktown, Ohio

This class, taught by Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Chris Haselberger, is meant to familiarize officers with the necessary preparation for and completion of OVI trials. Participants will receive information about the rules and procedures that lie behind strategies of prosecutors and defense counsel, along with decisions of judges. Instruction will be presented from the initial traffic stop, through report writing, evidence suppression issues, and direct and cross-examination at trial. The final part of the course will involve interactive class participation in mock trial testimony. This will be used to show first hand examples of direct examination and cross examination strategies to class attendees.

8:30 - 9 am: Understanding the Importance of Courtroom Testimony
9 - 10 am: Report Writing
10 - 11 am: Courtroom Preparation
11 - noon: Direct Examination
Noon - 1:30 pm: Lunch on your own
1:30 - 2:30 pm: Cross-Examination
2:30 - 4:30 pm: Mock Trial Examples of Direct and Cross-Examination

Please RSVP to Gretchen Lopez-Martinez, at glopez-martinez@dps.ohio.gov or by phone at (614) 466- 3250. Questions about class content should be addressed to Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Chris Haselberger at (614) 752-3976.

News from Our Ohio Task Force Commanders

Drug trafficking suspect found dead from apparent suicide

A Ross County man arrested in a pair of drug raids this month was found dead from an apparent suicide Tuesday, December 24th, in his cell at the Pickaway County Jail. Raymond D. Tackett Jr., 32, was found hanging from a bed sheet at 4:33 a.m. during hourly rounds by corrections officers, Pickaway County Sheriff’s Lt. Troy Rine said. Jail staff got Tackett down and immediately began CPR, but he was unresponsive, Rine said. Tackett was taken by ambulance to Berger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:18 a.m. Tackett was not on suicide watch at the time and had not given any indications to the jail staff that he might harm himself, Rine said.

Tackett’s body has been taken to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office for an autopsy, which was ordered by Dr. John Ellis, Pickaway County coroner. Tackett had been in the Pickaway County Jail since Dec. 19, when he and four others were arrested in a sting operation at a Circleville area motel on U.S. 23. Members of the U.S. 23 Major Crimes Task Force tracked and surveyed the alleged drug activity before making the arrests. In the process, they reported seizing 8 grams of suspected heroin, five grams of suspected crack cocaine, more than $2,000 in cash and other drug instruments and paraphernalia. Tackett was charged with trafficking heroin and trafficking crack cocaine, both second-degree felonies. Ashley Rowley, the 29-year-old woman authorities identified as his girlfriend, was charged with felony possession of both heroin and crack cocaine.

Tackett and Rowley were previously arrested on December 11 in the same Ross County raid at 467 U.S. 23 that saw Krystal Barrows, 35, suffer a fatal gunshot wound to the head from an errant law enforcement round. After the December 11 raid, Tackett was taken into custody on a warrant from Pickaway County; Rowley, on an endangering children charge. They were later released on bond. Rowley remains at the Pickaway County Jail, as do three other suspects arrested on drug charges in the Dec. 18 raid, according to online jail records.

Ohio Task Force Commanders

Drug trafficking suspect found dead from apparent suicide

SWAT teams raided several homes and a business in a two-county drug investigation Monday, December 23. Police and tactical teams raided eight locations after a six-month investigation. It began in Mount Washington on Monday morning.

The first home searched was in the 6000 block of Beechmont Avenue, near McNicholas High School and Guardian Angels School. Officers said the operation was a joint effort by the Clermont County Narcotics Unit and Cincinnati police.

The Clermont County sheriff said the officers had warrants for two properties on Ohio Pike in Amelia, three on Beechmont Avenue in Cincinnati, one on Fulton Grove in Pierce Township, one on Marilyn Lane in Withamsville, one on Elm Drive also in Withamsville.

“My boss was late getting back from lunch and he called and said the road was shut down and I looked out the window and saw a bunch of police cars and a SWAT team with their rifles drawn busting in doors over there and just a lot of chaos for about an hour,” witness Sonya Gastrich said. “If something bad is going on over there, I hope they find out and stop it.”

Officers from Union Township and Miami Township assisted with the raids, the sheriff said. Investigators said they seized 316 pounds of marijuana, $25,000 in cash, 55 guns, several thousand rounds of ammunition, 10 cars, several computers, documents and one fishing boat. They believe all the items were used in the sale or trafficking of marijuana. Seven people were arrested in connection with the raids. Thomas Awad Sr., 58, Thomas Awad Jr., 23, Michael Awad, 65, Richard Awad, 62, and Ronald Day, 68, were all charged with drug possession and drug trafficking. Angela Hale, 40, was arrested and charged with tampering with evidence; Jonathan Jacobs, 33, was arrested on an outstanding warrant. All seven suspects were booked into the Clermont County Jail. Six appeared in court Tuesday and five, all members of the Awad family, got bonds of $250,000. Day received a $25,000 bond.

“Based on the nature of these charges, the fact is that this is a fairly complex organization run by all of these defendants,” assistant prosecutor Joseph Mooney said. The sheriff said more arrests related to the search warrants could be coming. No other information was released about the investigation or trafficking operation, but prosecutors did say Tuesday that they believed it was part of a ring that may stretch to Arizona.

Ohio Task Force Commanders