Norwalk Police Chief Kevin Cashen called 2006 an unusual year because of the number of serious cases in which his officers were involved.
The annual report cited the following high profile cases which officers helped solve:
The detective bureau assisted the Huron County Sheriff's Office in the investigation of four armed robberies at three convenience stores from Oct. 28 through Nov. 10. Only one of the incidents, the Nov. 7 one at Austin's Westside Sunoco, happened within the city limits.
The co-defendants, rural Norwalk resident Ryan L. Sternberg, 21, and Michael J. Hendrickson, 23, of Vermilion, were sentenced March 1 to 10 years in prison for two counts of aggravated robbery, first-degree felonies.
Detectives received a tip sometime in late November that led to the arrest of Norwalk resident Thomas Galan, 32, who was wanted for the murder of two brothers in a drug-related shooting outside of Fostoria 10 years ago. He is expected to go to trial next month in the U.S. Court Northern District of Ohio in Toledo.
"It originally was a DEA case," Cashen said, referring to the federal drug enforcement agency.
The Norwalk special response team and agents with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI&I) arrested Galan, who is facing capital murder charges. Investigators have accused Galan of being a suspect in the December 1996 shootings since the two victims were found dead in their overturned van, but there wasn't evidence to charge him at the time.
Detectives conducted a joint investigation with the Erie County Sheriff's Office and Perkins Township Police Department in connection with the Dec. 20 attempted armed robbery at the local Pizza Brothers eatery.
Marilyn D. Holladay, 25, of Manning, S.C., and her Sandusky co-defendants, Koron R. Wilson, 24, and Dmarcus Philon, 30, are accused of demanding money from the Pizza Brothers manager armed with a baseball bat and broom. Police said one of the suspects reportedly hit an employee with the bat and Holladay is accused of smashing the front window before they left without any money.
The trio of suspects face charges related to Perkins Township robberies and have been in custody at the Erie County Jail since Dec. 24. Cashen, in the annual report, said two of the victims were beat with a blunt object near the Sandusky Mall.
"All these robberies or attempted robberies were drug-related crimes," the chief wrote.
Police conducted an investigation of the Nov. 28 accidental death of New London resident Allen Randleman, 58. A Mayflower Vehicle Systems co-worker found him bleeding profusely near an industrial oven at the North Garfield Street facility.
"He was killed on the job trying to perform maintenance on (some) machinery," Cashen said.
Randleman died of a skull fracture at Fisher-Titus Medical Center, Huron County Coroner Dr. Jeffrey Harwood said last month.
Detective David McDonough's investigation of about $200,000 stolen from a local physician's office led to the mid-November arrest of Norwalk resident Elaine S. Woudstra, 55. Prosecutors said she was charged with charged with theft, a third-degree felony, in connection with a series of incidents between Jan. 1, 2001 through Sept. 30, 2006 after co-workers suspected the money was missing.
"There's an accountant working on that. It may be presented to the grand jury pretty quickly," Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said.
On Dec. 21, the Norwalk Municipal Court case was transferred to Huron County Common Pleas Court. Municipal Judge John Ridge had prohibited Woudstra from leaving the state "until further order of the court," records show.
Police also investigated the thefts of various cars, pickup trucks and golf carts which investigators determined was related to numerous vandalism complaints of businesses, homes and vehicles. Several juveniles in gang calling themselves "JRB" later were arrested and charged with the various crimes.
Members of another suspected gang called "MS13" were arrested in connection with graffiti on various buildings as well as various burglaries, break-ins and the theft of a firearm, Cashen wrote in the annual report. The gang now refers to itself as "WS13."
In a third gang-related case, Huron County Juvenile Court Judge Timothy Cardwell ruled March 2 that two Norwalk Middle School male suspects were found guilty of aggravated menacing for threatening a girl's life because she wanted to leave JRB. Cardwell's decision came after a five-hour trial Feb. 16.
Cashen, the chief since January 2002, said this is the first year he was witnessed gang-related activity in the city. He has been with the police department since 1994.