Two Athens Co. Men Headed To Prison On Multiple Charges

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Two Athens Co. men are headed to prison after pleading guilty to multiple charges this week in the Athens County Common Pleas Court.

Jason M. French, 30, of Athens was sentenced to four years in Ohio’s penal system by Judge George P. McCarthy after entering guilty pleas to one count of breaking and entering, one count of aggravated possession of drugs, two counts of possession of drugs and two counts of tampering with evidence.

The offenses occurred in November 2010 while French was working as a security guard for Holzer in Athens. He disabled the security system and took numerous prescription drugs from the pharmacy, according to Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn.

A search warrant was executed by the Athens Police Department on French’s residence where “several types of prescription drugs were found.”

“French admitted to law enforcement that he threw most of the Oxycontin and Oxycodone into a lake across the street from his residence and destroyed the original packaging so that they could not be traced back to Holzer,” Blackburn said.

Nathan T. Welch, 23, of Nelsonville was sentenced by Judge L. Alan Goldsberry to four years and 11 months in prison for three separate indictments generated by the Nelsonville and Athens Police Departments.

The first indictment was for vandalism and possession of criminal tools from an incident in December 2011.

The second indictment was for five counts of receiving stolen property and five counts of forgery.

Most recently, he was indicted for one count of receiving stolen property and three counts of forgery.

In December 2011, Welch and another individual broke into parking meters in Nelsonville and Welch was found with a hammer and screw driver when police arrived at the scene, according to Blackburn.

Between June 11 and June 17, 2013, Welch possessed and passed numerous stolen checks at various businesses in Nelsonville, Blackburn added.

Also on June 17, 2013, Welch possessed other stolen checks that were passed by him to businesses in Nelsonville and Athens.