David Willison

David Willison. Photo provided by the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office.

A Chauncey man was recently charged with receiving stolen property in connection to a recent string of catalytic converter thefts.

David Willison, 45, of Chauncey, appeared in Athens County Common Pleas Court Wednesday on a motion from the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office to revoke his bond in favor of a new $1,000,000 bond.

Willison is currently indicted on charges of possession of heroin and trafficking of heroin — both first-degree felonies, according to a news release from the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office. In August, Willison was handed a $100,000 bond with 10 percent posting allowed on that case. He subsequently posted the bond.

On Saturday, Willison was arrested by the Athens County Sheriff’s Office and charged with receiving stolen property in relation to the string of stolen catalytic converters.

Assistant Prosecutor Meg Saunders reportedly told the court that she was requesting a $1 million bond on Willison because “he was already on bond when he allegedly continued to engage in criminal activity,” the Prosecutor’s Office press release stated.

She stated that, in addition to the drug-related allegations, Willison has been allegedly receiving stolen catalytic converters and selling them for scrap in order to allegedly purchase heroin, according to the Prosecutor’s Office.

Last week, Jonathan Westerviller, 34, pleaded guilty in the Athens County Common Pleas Court to a fifth-degree felony charge of complicity to theft. Judge George McCarthy imposed a prison sentence of nine months, according to a news release from the Prosecutor’s Office.

Westerviller was arrested on Sept. 17, three days after the crime was reportedly committed and only a week after he’d been released from his previous prison sentence connected to a motor vehicle theft.

James Howerton, 47, and Tyler Ball, 25, both of Nelsonville, were arrested along with Westerviller.

Both men are charged with breaking and entering, a fifth-degree felony; grand theft, a fourth-degree felony; possessing criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony; and vandalism, a fourth-degree felony.

Westerville, Howerton and Ball are accused of breaking into Athens Transmission, located southwest of Uptown Athens on Hebbardsville Road, and stealing seven catalytic converters.

Westerviller was allegedly the getaway driver, according to the release. Howerton is expected to be arraigned on Oct. 21 and Ball is under a $50,000 bond.

Following his arrest, Westerviller reportedly tried to shift the blame to a third party, but further investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office and the Athens County Sheriff’s Office resulted in charges being dropped against the individual, the news release said.

Since then, additional arrests have been made in connection with more thefts of catalytic converters, according to the Prosecutor’s Office.

A pre-trial is scheduled for Willison on Nov. 17 at 10:30 a.m.

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