Suspect arrested in court

WARREN – A Howland man who owns two security companies and who was secretly indicted last week for altering credentials for those businesses was arrested again Tuesday morning as he appeared in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.

Judge Andrew Logan warned Gregory Oakes, 51, of 8886 Howland-Springs Road, that his $5,000 bond could be revoked if he failed to cease and desist operating the businesses until the cases were resolved.

Oakes, a former special unpaid Trumbull deputy sheriff, was appearing at a pretrial in front of Logan to answer to 10 counts of forgery and 10 counts of tampering with evidence when he was served with three first-degree misdemeanor charges of operating a security company without a license.

He pleaded not guilty to those charges later Tuesday via video arraignment in Warren Municipal Court, where he can post a $10,000 personal recognizance bond pending a hearing June 24 before Judge Thomas Gysegem.

He also was served eight counts of the same misdemeanor charges in Youngstown Municipal Court, where he will most likely be arraigned later today.

The latest charges were filed by an investigator with the Private Investigators Security Guards Services (PISGS), an arm of the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

Assistant county prosecutor Michael Burnett said last week that Oakes’ licenses for Delta Elite Inc. and American Sentry that supplied guards for several local businesses were revoked after he failed to pay state of Ohio taxes.

State patrol troopers executed a search warrant Nov. 4 at Oakes’ Howland home and, according to Burnett, discovered certificates and documents that were forged to show the companies still had a valid license.

The company at one time employed up to 60 people and supplied guards to Warren Schools events, Jamestown Plaza, Strimbu Trucking, Wheatland Tube, Ajax and the Vindicator, according to Burnett.

Oakes served as an unpaid special deputy in Trumbull County until his commission was rescinded about five years ago, according to Major Tom Stewart of the Trumbull Sheriff’s Office.