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Gun shop owner sentenced for ammo resale scheme

| March 27, 2024
Grant Timberlake, 51, of Bolivar stands as he apologizes in court for his role in an ammunition resale scheme involving an former village cop. (WJER Radio)

NEW PHILADELPHIA (March 27, 2024) – The state is getting to close its case against the Strasburg businessman who resold ammunition meant for law enforcement.

G&R Tactical Store owner William Grant Timberlake will spend 90 days in the county jail and 90 on house arrest for his role in a scheme with a former Bolivar cop to obtain rounds when they were scarce during the pandemic using that department’s tax-exempt status.

Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Ernest handed down the punishment Tuesday, offering to let him self-report to the jail on April 8th and serve his time there in three, 30-day increments.

“Being a friend of law enforcement, sympathetic to law enforcement, helping law enforcement is certainly not license to bend the rules, skirt obligations or rules, and certainly you have found that out the hard way.”

Timberlake previously pleaded guilty to an amended indictment charging him with attempted telecommunications fraud, a first-degree misdemeanor, and had the remaining charges against him dismissed. He used his opportunity to address the court to express his remorse.

“I deeply regret my actions, sir, and what I have done. I would also like to apologize to all the parties that I’ve injured and caused harm.”

The Ohio Auditor’s Office prosecuted the case and recommended the punishment, which also includes a two-year probationary period, $1,000 fine and 75 hours of community service. 

Special Prosecutor Thomas Anger said the scheme cost a police supply company over $17,900 but officials there weren’t seeking restitution.

The other defendant was 49-year-old Jeffrey Stearns, who pleaded guilty to felony telecommunications fraud back in February and had his Ohio Peace Officer certification revoked. He’s due back in court for sentencing on April 19th.

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