Judge's gavel

ASHLAND -- Justin Giauque was convicted Wednesday on two counts of Grand Theft, Unauthorized Use of Property, and Possessing Criminal Tools after an agricultural theft case, according to Ashland County Prosecuting Attorney Christopher R. Tunnell.

The 45-year-old Giauque, between November of 2019 and March of 2020, stole $94,920.41 worth of harvested grains from his employer, Larry Enderle & Sons Grain, LLC of Jeromesville. The defendant then sold those grains to Centerra Co-Op in Loudonville by deception.

Giauque utilized the property of Larry Enderle & Sons, LLC without permission in order to transport the stolen grain.

The jury deliberated for less than an hour after a trial that lasted a little more than three days, with Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Victor R. Perez successfully obtaining the convictions.

“This case is another example of our commitment to keeping the agricultural community safe," Tunnell said. "Farmers are especially susceptible to theft offenses since their operations tend to be spread out and isolated.

"I am especially proud of Mr. Perez and the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office’s commitment to righting this wrong.”

According to Tunnell, after the theft was discovered, Giauque fled, eventually having to be extradited from New Mexico. Following the announcement of the guilty verdicts, Perez motioned the court to revoke Giauque’s bond.

That motion was granted and Giauque was remanded to the Ashland County Jail pending his sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for March 29 at 3 p.m. before Judge Ronald P. Forsthoefel.

“This defendant’s actions were completely outrageous," Perez said. "He took his employer’s gravity wagon, filled it up, and drove it to sale. Giauque destroyed the trust that had been placed in him for nothing less than his own greed.

"I would like to thank Detective Aaron Crites of the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office for his dogged pursuit of this thief. It is his hard work that allowed us to bring this criminal to justice.”

Giauque faces a maximum sentence of fifty-four months in prison.

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