WARREN - A 22-year-old Bazetta man was being held in Trumbull County Jail in lieu of $250,000 after an initial appearance Friday on charges that he engaged in a pattern of corrupt activity while dealing anabolic steroids - a scheduled III controlled substance.
Joseph A. Stiver, 2873 Cadwallader Sonk Road, was arrested earlier in the day by agents with the Trumbull-Ashtabula Group Law Enforcement Task Force, who had been investigating the case and supplied a judge with a detailed affidavit that remains sealed.
Stiver was arrested on a prosecutor's complaint and offered no plea at the appearance before Common Pleas Judge Ronald Rice.
Rice accepted a recommendation of the $250,000 from assistant prosecuting attorney Charles Morrow, who said although Stiver is living with his parents, more than $200,000 was found in the attic of the home during the investigation.
Stiver, wearing a hooded sweatshirt sporting the name of a local fitness gym, was represented by attorney Daniel Keating, who pointed out his client has no prior criminal record.
Morrow countered that Stiver tried to deceive law officers, and has many out-of-state contacts through the alleged corrupt activity. He said Stiver could have more money stashed elsewhere that could help him flee.
Rice said if Stiver manages to post the bond, he will remain under a supervised release by the court's Adult Probation Department. The judge set a preliminary hearing in the case for March 31.
It's likely that the case could be presented to a grand jury before the hearing and the affidavit unsealed at that time.
The first count accuses Stiver of engaging in the pattern of corrupt activity between December 2012 and February 2014. ''While employed by or associated with any enterprise, (Stiver) did conduct or participate in, directly or indirectly, the affairs of the enterprise through a pattern of corrupt activity, or the collection of an unlawful debt, and at least one of the incidents of corrupt activity (which) is a felony of the first, second or third degree.''
The second count - drug trafficking - alleges Stiver sold or offered for sale on Jan. 20 more than five times the bulk amount but less than 50 times the bulk amount of the steroids.
Morrow declined to release any further details about the case.