8 charged in burglary ring arraigned in Mahoning court

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



The eight people charged for their purported roles in a burglary ring-for-heroin operation have been arraigned and will be back in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court later this month.

Martin Desmond, an assistant county prosecutor, read the charges Tuesday against each of the eight before Magistrate Timothy Welsh.

Four are in the county jail.

John Woods of New Middletown is charged with 13 counts of burglary; Erin King Jr. of Youngstown is charged with three counts of burglary; Katie Grist of Springfield Township is charged with six counts of burglary and one theft count; and Grant Repasky of Springfield is charged with 10 burglary counts.

Police contend that once these suspects burglarized a home, they would sell stolen jewelry mainly to Dominic Eckman at Leslie’s Precious Metals, 890 E. Midlothian Blvd.

Dominic Eckman of Poland is charged with two felony counts of receiving stolen property and two misdemeanor counts of receiving stolen property; Alexis Norman of Youngstown is charged with felony receiving stolen property; and Leslie Eckman of Poland faces one misdemeanor count related to records and bookkeeping.

Money obtained from the thefts, police said, would ultimately be used to purchase heroin from Jamal Vaughn of Youngstown. Vaughn is charged with seven counts of drug trafficking.

Dominic Eckman, Leslie Eckman and Alexis Norman all pleaded not guilty to the charges against them, but chose to waive arraignment in open court Tuesday.

All three submitted motions via their respective attorneys.

Grist, who is free on a personal-recognizance bond after spending one night in jail, pleaded not guilty to the charges against her. Her bond was continued.

King, Woods, Vaughn and Repasky appeared before the court wearing county-issued orange jumpsuits.

They are in jail, and the issue of bond will be revisited by Judge Lou A. D’Apolito before trial.

Vaughn is jailed on unrelated drug charges.

Cases against all eight people have been assigned to Judge D’Apolito.

The eight defendants are due back in court for pretrials Friday. The case is set for trial Oct. 1.

A county grand jury secretly indicted the eight two weeks ago after a nine-month-long investigation by authorities.

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