Leetonia-area engineer pleads guilty to stealing from employer

LISBON – A Leetonia-area man received probation but was ordered to make restitution for stealing $15,000 worth of specialty tools and other items from his former employer.

Jason M. Dean, 40, of Sleepy Hollow, was sentenced by Judge Scott Washam to four years probation after pleading guilty this week to theft charges by way of prosecutor’s information. Dean was also ordered to make restitution in the amount of $15,000 to his former employer, Valley Industrial Controls of Columbiana.

Dean worked for Valley Industrial until March 2, 2013, when he quit showing up for work. According to court records, he later fraudulently used a company telecommunications device to transfer about $950 into his bank account and he was charged for that crime.

Chief Assistant County Prosecutor John Gamble said during the course of the investigation Columbiana Detective Wade Boley determined that Dean, who worked as an engineer, also stole equipment that he later pawned.

“Some of the parts were very expensive, specialty items,” Gamble said.

Dean’s attorney then approached the prosecutor’s office and offered to plead guilty to theft covering all the crimes by way of prosecutor’s information to avoid the indictment process. The $15,000 figure represented how much the prosecutor’s office and company could prove was stolen.

“They really don’t know how much he stole … some of it was recovered, some of it wasn’t,” Gamble said.

In other action, Two Youngstown men are scheduled to be sentenced on March 27 after pleading guilty to unrelated drug possession crimes that occurred in Salem. Maurice J. Brooks, 27, was found in possession of 5.3 grams of heroin at an East Pershing Street residence in February 2013. Trevon J. Johnson, 20, was found in possession of 11.4 grams of crack cocaine in an apartment on Continental Drive last March. The cocaine was found hidden in Johnson’s underwear and sweatshirt, and he also had $440 in cash on him.