Ohio News Briefs

Ohio inmate avoids more prison time in 2nd anthrax hoax case

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man who was imprisoned for arson and sentenced to more time behind bars for mailing white powder to government offices won’t spend extra time in prison for a second anthrax hoax.

Prosecutors alleged 32-year-old Drew Manns sent letters claiming to contain deadly anthrax to a prisons committee and three central Ohio television stations. The powder was actually a sweetener.

The Columbus Dispatch reports his three-year sentence issued Wednesday in Franklin County on the resulting threat-related charges will be served simultaneously with a four-year federal sentence for the other hoax.

An attorney for the Elyria man contends another inmate intimidated Manns into writing the letters. Attorney Jonathan Yoder also says Manns has a genetic condition that causes developmental disabilities and difficulty anticipating consequences of his actions.

Columbus-area auditor joins GOP race for Ohio treasurer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The county auditor in Columbus is joining the race for Ohio treasurer, becoming the second Republican to do so.

Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo launched his campaign Thursday, describing himself as a fiscal conservative who wants to be in what he calls “a new generation of conservative leadership” in Ohio.

Mingo faces 43-year-old state Rep. Robert Sprague, of Findlay, in a Republican primary next year. No Democrat has entered the race to replace Treasurer Josh Mandel, who’s running for U.S. Senate.

The 45-year-old Mingo tells Cleveland.com that if he’s elected, he’d start a program to discourage use of high-interest “payday” lenders. He also says he’d aim to get every local government participating in an existing program that allows them to post their expenses online for public review.

Judge: Televangelist, buffet owe $388,000 over unpaid labor

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio televangelist and his restaurant have been ordered to pay over $388,000 to a group of employees after a judge found that members of his church were urged to volunteer at the buffet and it used the unpaid workers.

The U.S. Department of Labor sued Ernest Angley and his Cuyahoga Falls restaurant alleging labor-law violations after reporting by the Akron Beacon Journal first detailed the allegations. The department said an investigation found 239 employees at the buffet were owed a total of $207,000.

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Angley and the restaurant to pay more than that in back wages and damages.

Angley has maintained that buffet operators did nothing wrong. His attorney, Lawrence Bach, tells Cleveland.com that Angley and the restaurant might appeal the judge’s decision.

Shipped synthetic drugs seized at Cincinnati-area airport

CINCINNATI (AP) — Federal border protection officials say they seized scores of shipments of synthetic drugs this month at an express consignment facility at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Agents with the Cincinnati office of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said Wednesday that they seized 83 shipments of drugs, including more than 36 pounds of a deadly fentanyl derivative, from March 6 through March 26. The agency’s statement says the drugs were seized at a DHL express consignment facility at the airport in Hebron, Kentucky.

Federal officials say the packages of drugs sent from China were destined for individuals in 17 states, including Ohio, and in Canada. They were listed in shipping documents as items such as “hardware nuts” and “snap hooks.”

Authorities say the investigation is continuing.