Former Police Officer Pleads Guilty To Theft Charges

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A former Hanging Rock police officer pleaded guilty to charges of theft in office and tampering with evidence yesterday.

Ronald Blanton, 28, of Franklin Furnace, appeared before Judge Charles Cooper in Lawrence County Common Pleas court. Blanton and another officer, Thomas Trent, 22, of Portsmouth, were accused of taking cash for traffic tickets and keeping the money, rather than turning it in to the village office.
Sheriff Jeff Lawless said the two were arrested after an on-going investigation showed the men had repeatedly targeted out-of-town travelers.  
Sentencing for Blanton has been set for November 10th.