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Church rectory burglary suspect indicted

Cary Ashby • Updated May 20, 2019 at 4:47 PM

Six defendants have been indicted by a Huron County grand jury.

One of those suspects is a homeless man accused of burglarizing a Norwalk rectory. Ryan J. Justice, 38, was charged with burglary, breaking and entering, forgery and tampering with evidence plus two counts of theft, all in connection with an April 11 incident.

Justice, according to his indictment, is accused of stealing a laptop and a $600 check, which he then allegedly used to forge the signature of the intended recipient.

The Norwalk Police Department received the report of a burglary at the rectory for St. Mary Mother of the Redeemer Church on West League Street at 7:07 a.m. April 11. Detective Sgt. Seth Fry has said an employee reported for work and realized the pastor’s residence “had been entered and someone had strewn some things around” and some items had been stolen. The employee backed out of the home, secured it and called police.

“He (the pastor) was sleeping at the time,” said Fry, who noted the man wasn’t aware of the crime. “No one was injured.”

Officer Jared Ferris was the first person to respond. He requested Fry, who called the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) to help process the scene and collect unspecified evidence.

Justice was arrested April 12 in Norwalk.

“We recovered most of the items,” Fry said.

The other five defendants who were indicted Friday and their charges are:

• Stephen D. Dunlap, 40, most recently of 102 N. Pleasant St., on two counts of felonious assault in connection with a Jan. 24 incident involving a Dodge truck. He also was charged with one charge each of aggravated possession of drugs, aggravated possession of methamphetamine and possessing drug abuse instruments, also stemming from a Jan. 24 incident. 

• Giovanni T. Lee, 19, of Sandusky, on three counts of retaliation, all in connection with an April 8 incident. According to his indictment, he is accused of threatening to harm “any person or property, retaliate against a public servant, a party official or an attorney or witness who was involved in a civil
 or criminal action or proceeding.”

• Michael D. Morales, 42, most recently of 4559 Laylin Road, on permitting drug abuse and possession of heroin, both in connection with an April 11 incident. If convicted of possession of heroin, he could be required to forfeit a black Samsung cell phone, digital scales and $160 to the state.

• Samantha J. Risner, 24, of Carey, on tampering with evidence and possession of heroin, both in connection with an April 13 incident.

• Garrett L. Vogel, 21, of Forest, on tampering with evidence in connection with an April 13 incident.

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