In case you missed it: 3 recent Springfield crime stories

Here are three crime stories the Springfield News-Sun reported recently.

1. Springfield man charged, accused of selling cigarettes to underage informant 

Jasvinder Chhoker, 44, of Springfield, has been charged with illegal distribution of tobacco. The charge is a 4th-degree misdemeanor and holds a maximum penalty of a $250 fine and 30 days in jail.

According to Chhoker’s arrest record, two Ohio Department of Public Safety agents and a 15-year-old informant were conducting a tobacco compliance check on Dec. 17 at Clark Gas Station, located at 936 W. North St. in Springfield, when the illegal sale allegedly occurred.

The record says the 15-year-old informant was provided with an audio recorder and a $20 bill but was not given an Ohio identification card or driver’s license.

“The confidential informant approached the tobacco product check-out lane and was greeted by on-duty clerk later identified as Jasvinder Chhoker,” the arrest record said. “The confidential informant requested a pack of Marlboro Gold brand cigarettes.”

RELATED: Springfield man charged with illegal distribution of tobacco 

Chhoker grabbed the pack of cigarettes, rang the sale into the cash register and then requested payment, the arrest record said.

“The confidential informant handed Chhoker that $20 bill,” the arrest record said. “Chhoker made change from the cash register and handed back change to the confidential informant. The confidential informant removed the cigarettes from the counter and exited the permit premises.”

The informant met the two agents outside the store, the arrest record said.

“At no time during the transaction did Chhoker ask the confidential informant for her identification to verify her age as being 21 years of age or older,” the arrest record said.

The agents then entered the stores, explained to Chhoker that a tobacco compliance check had taken place and placed him under arrest.

2. Springfield woman charged with abandoning dogs at rental property 

Heather Taylor, 24, of Springfield, has been charged with four counts of cruelty to a companion animal and two counts of abandoning animals.

According to an affidavit filed in the case, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched on Nov. 16 to a report about two dogs abandoned and malnourished inside a home in the 3000 block of East Leffel Lane in Springfield.

When officers arrived at the home, they were greeted by the property owners who stated, “there were dogs in the garage and they were skinny,” the affidavit said.

“Once inside of the garage I saw both dogs more clearly and saw they both were very thin,” the investigating officer wrote in the affidavit. “I looked around and saw no food or water.”

The officers removed the two dogs, a small brown mixed dog and a black and white pit bull mix, from the home and turned them over the Clark County Dog Shelter with permission from the property owners, the affidavit said.

RELATED: Springfield woman charged with four counts of cruelty to a companion animal 

The property owners told officers that Taylor and her father were the last residents to reside in the home, the affidavit said, but the two were evicted on Sept. 16.

“(The officer) was able to find Heather’s Facebook to see a few photos of the black of the black and white pit whose name is Clutch,” the affidavit said.

Later that day, Taylor came into the Clark County Dog Shelter trying to redeem the black and white male pit bull mix, according to the affidavit.

Taylor also began asking questions about possible charges against her, the affidavit said.

“Heather claimed that she didn’t know who the second dog was but the brown female dog was very excited when they got into the room together,” the affidavit said. “(The officer) said that the brown dog hasn’t responded to anybody at the shelter like that.”

According to the affidavit, Taylor admitted to meeting the brown dog once in late September.

“Heather claimed she hadn’t been at the house on Leffel Lane for two months,” the affidavit said.

Taylor denied knowledge of the dogs being inside the home without care, the affidavit said.

3. New Carlisle woman indicted, charged with stealing from pharmacy where she worked

Elizabeth Bowen, 34, has been indicted on four counts of trafficking in drugs, four counts of possession of drugs, three counts of deception to obtain a dangerous drug, nine counts of theft of drugs, receiving stolen property, counterfeiting and grand theft.

The investigation into Bowen began on Sept. 6 when the owner of Harding Road Pharmacy, located at 400 W. Harding Rd. in Springfield, called the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy to report “he had a pharmacy technician stealing controlled substances,” according to an affidavit filed in the case.

“(The pharmacy owner) stated he was reviewing his wholesale sales to Madison Avenue Pharmacy and Springfield Pharmacy and found six suspicious sales since August, 1,” the affidavit said.

According to the affidavit, the owner called the pharmacy on Madison Avenue and they confirmed they did not make the purchases.

RELATED: New Carlisle woman indicted on multiple counts of trafficking in drugs 

“All of the suspicious sales were cashed out at their Point of Sale (POS) by the same person, Certified Pharmacy Technician Elizabeth Bowen,” the affidavit said. “(The pharmacy owner) advised he was able to check video evidence and verify that CPT Bowen had bagged up and cashed out all six transactions.”

Later that day, the pharmacy owner ran a report of all wholesale sales from Jan. 1, 2018 until Sept. 6, 2019, the affidavit said.

“(The pharmacy owner) advised he identified 39,500 tablets of benzodiazepines e.g. alprazolam, clonazepam as well as tramadol and phentermine in varying manufactures, strengths and doses which had been stolen,” the affidavit said.

According to the affidavit, on Sept. 10, another bulk order of phentermine was stolen from the Harding Road Pharmacy.

“Bowen placed the order for the bulk order. Bowen bagged it up,” the affidavit said. “Officers followed her home, but she made four stops on the way.”

On Sept. 23, Bowen placed a bulk order of 1,000 count of alprazolam, the affidavit said.

“On Sept. 24, officers witnessed the delivery to the Harding Road Pharmacy. The bulk order, once again, went missing- the bottle had been marked with a UV market,” the affidavit said.

Officers followed Bowen as she left the pharmacy that day, where they initiated a traffic stop, the affidavit said. Bowen was then arrested.

“The bulk order was found in the back of Bowen’s vehicle in a paper pharmacy bag,” the affidavit said. “Officers had witnessed Bowen take the paper pharmacy bag from the pharmacy. Bowen did not have the authority to take the bulk order from the pharmacy.”

The next court date for Bowen has not yet been set.

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