Police follow cigarette trail to robbery suspects

By Ashley Bunton - abunton@civitasmedia.com




A Washington C.H. man was sentenced to prison Monday after a trail of stolen cigarette packs and a heroin overdose led to multiple arrests.

Martin L. Funk, 27, plead guilty in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas to charges of breaking and entering, theft, and possession of heroin.

November 28, 2015 was “Small Business Saturday,” one of the busiest times of the shopping year, and at approximately 1:28 a.m. police were called to respond to a breaking and entering at Thompson’s Depot in Washington C.H. Broken glass from the busted front door appeared to be the cause for alarm.

Several packs of cigarettes were found on the floor among scattered glass. The officer followed the trail of cigarette packs outside, and from Thompson’s Depot down the street towards East Elm Street, finding six single packs of “Chisum” cigarettes along with one carton of “Pyramid” cigarettes. The trail ended at the intersection of East Elm Street and South Fayette Street, where a pack of Marlboro’s sat resting in the intersection.

A review of the video surveillance footage showed two men, a brick going through the glass door, and the two men grabbing cigarettes and running out. The video gave officers a clear description of the offenders. Police then picked up the trail again and made contact with three subjects in the area where the cigarette trail came to an end.

A man who identified himself as Josh Smith was leaning in the passenger door of a truck wearing only plaid boxers, according to reports. After speaking briefly with officers, he asked to go into a residence at South Main Street to put some clothes on, but he never came back out.

An occupant gave officers permission to enter the building, and the man who identified himself as Josh Smith was found hiding behind a refrigerator. A deputy sheriff identified him as Kyle Wilson and advised Wilson he was under arrest for using a false name and misleading officers in their investigation. The clothing Wilson had put on matched the clothing of the offender in the video surveillance from Thompson’s Depot.

Officers located the other offender from the video surveillance video, Martin Funk. Funk was found among opened cartons of cigarettes in the living room and bedroom of the same residence, but denied any involvement in the breaking and entering, reports said. Funk’s clothing matched the clothing in the surveillance video, and small pieces of glass were found in the soles of the shoes.

Both Funk and Wilson were arrested. During transportation to the Fayette County Jail, Wilson said he was the “big name in this town” and attributed city crime to his own doing, stating “most of the crime is because of me”, that “he’s been to prison and ain’t scared,” and threatened the officers and their families, saying he had “mafia” connections, reports said.

Seventeen days later, Dec. 15, 2015, Funk overdosed on heroin in a bathroom of the residence on South Main Street where he had previously been arrested for breaking and entering.

EMTs administered Narcan to Funk and he regained consciousness. Funk told the EMTs he had injected heroin and was transported to the hospital for further treatment, reports said. Drug paraphernalia was located in the bathroom and sent off for testing.

Funk was taken to the Fayette County Jail for possession of a drug abuse instrument and drug paraphernalia.

Funk plead guilty to two counts of breaking and entering and one count of theft and was sentenced to 12 months in prison and ordered to pay $632 for restitution. He plead guilty to a charge of possession of heroin and was sentenced to an additional six months in prison, with 90 days jail time credit for days served in jail.

Wilson plead guilty to breaking and entering in February and was sentenced to seven months in prison.



By Ashley Bunton


Reach Ashley Bunton at the Record-Herald (740) 313-0356 0r on Twitter @ashbunton

Reach Ashley Bunton at the Record-Herald (740) 313-0356 0r on Twitter @ashbunton