WARREN - A 28-year-old Newton Falls man who was sentenced last week to three years in prison for his role in a local theft ring was tagged with an additional nine months Wednesday after pleading guilty to making terrorist threats.
Michael Karpenko was found guilty of making claims inside the Giant Eagle in Niles that he would ''blow the place up.''
Assistant county prosecutor Charles Morrow said Karpenko was involved in a domestic dispute with a girlfriend inside the grocery store Jan. 16, 2012.
The girlfriend convinced mangers inside the store to take Karpenko seriously, but Morrow said the managers and later Niles police did a good job of defusing the situation before Karpenko was arrested.
Another prosecutor last week called Karpenko a ''career criminal'' when he was sentenced on unrelated charges involving a theft ring. Karpenko had been to prison three times previously.
It was nearly a year ago that a Ravenna man in the ring was placed on five years probation and agreed to testify against Karpenko and his cousin Rob.
Rob Karpenko, 40, is currently doing a lengthy prison term in Florida after drug convictions there. His charges on the theft ring are still pending here.
The cousins were both charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity along with other defendants linked to the theft ring that prosecutors say sold stolen equipment through Pine Ridge Auction Center in Leavittsburg.
The ring included a break-in Oct. 29, 2009, at Girard Cemetery, where a Kabota trailer, backhoe and a utility vehicle were stolen from a storage building.
One other man was sentenced to four years and three others who were charged with lesser non-conspiracy crimes, including at least one man who also agreed to cooperate with the prosecution, were placed on probation.