Suspects in local land scam plead not guilty

Suspect’s father, brother died in police shootout.

Jessica Gutierrez, 26, of Troy and Allen Cannon, 40, of Dayton were released after being arraigned in Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Lindeman’s courtroom. Both have pretrial hearings July 2.

Gutierrez is the daughter of Jerry Kane, a former Springfield resident who was killed along with his son in a shootout with police in May 2010.

Gutierrez and Cannon are among 18 suspects named in an indictment put out by the Ohio Attorney General’s office. The alleged scam involved telemarketers telling landowners that they could get sale prices up to 15 times the actual value if the sellers would pay closing costs up front. Prosecutors said thousands of victims around the country were bilked out of about $4 million.

The alleged ringleader, Theodore S. Thomas, was still at large Wednesday. An Attorney General’s office spokesperson said Wednesday that defendants Kara Thomas, Ashley Green and Michael D. Perry have waived extradition in Florida and soon will be transported to Miami County.

Christopher Fregapane is fighting his extradition, so the AG’s office said it will seek a Governor’s Warrant to extradite him back to Ohio.

Gutierrez and Cannon were both charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activities, conspiracy and telecommunications fraud.

Gutierrez also was charged with aggravated theft, while Cannon also was charged with grand theft. All counts are felonies ranging from first- to fifth-degree.

The Kane shootout came after police said the younger Kane killed two West Memphis, Ark., officers with an AK-47 assault rifle after a traffic stop.

Another of Jerry Kane’s children, Heather Kane, is in an Arizona prison serving 13 years for attempted murder.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-6951 or mgokavi@

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