BLANCHESTER — Three men were arrested after a report of a back yard fire led police to a house where several felons are living, including two who was wanted by police, Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt said.
At around 2 p.m. Tuesday police were called to 303 E. Main St. on a report of a noxious fire in the back yard of the residence.
“While speaking with the homeowner, Avery Ashman, and others at the residence, officers developed information indicating that a fugitive named Darren Johnson was inside the house,” said Reinbolt. “Johnson was wanted on a felony arrest warrant for failure to appear before the court in an aggravated possession of drugs case.
“Ashman refused to give officers consent to enter the house to look for Johnson, claiming that he fled prior to officers’ arrival. Ashman was warned by officers that knowingly harboring a felon would result in his arrest.”
Reinbolt said a man standing in the back yard of the residence was identified by officers as Michael Wilson, 39, who was wanted on a felony warrant for failure to appear before the court in a child support case. Wilson was arrested and taken to the police station, where he was turned over to a Clinton County Sheriff’s deputy for transport to the county jail.
He said officers interviewed several neighbors in the 300 block of East Main Street who reported that they had not seen anyone matching Darren Johnson’s description leave 303 E. Main St. all afternoon.
“Officers then obtained a search warrant for the residence,” said Reinbolt. “He (Johnson) was found hiding in an upstairs room of the house and was taken into custody without incident.
“Several other individuals, including several convicted felons, were found on the property, were checked for warrants and released.”
Johnson was taken to the police station, where he was turned over to a Clinton County sheriff’s deputy for transport to the county jail.
Reinbolt said Avery Ashman was arrested at the scene and charged with obstructing official business; he was taken to the police station, where he was issued a summons and released.