Over the past several months there have been multiple burglaries and thefts reported in Mahaska County, as well as the City of Oskaloosa.
On Thursday, February 2, 2017, the Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to 1200 block of River Road, Leighton in reference to two suspicious subjects. While responding to and investigating this call deputies uncovered evidence of an active burglary and theft ring. This information led to the issuance of two search warrants. These warrants were for stolen property, firearms and illegal drugs.
Later this date, the Sheriff’s Office executed one search warrant at 201 Church Street, Martinsburg, Iowa. At the same time, deputies executed the second warrant at 1213 River Road, Leighton, Iowa. During the execution of these warrants, multiple items of evidence were seized. Many of these items are believed to be stolen. One firearm, drug paraphernalia, and controlled substances were also seized during the execution of these warrants.
During this investigation the following subjects were arrested: 35-year-old Travis Wayne Ehrman of Hedrick was arrested on a Mahaska County warrant for a violation of a no contact order. 45-year-old Travis William Batterson of Beacon was arrested on two Mahaska County warrants, one for failure to appear and one for pretrial release violation. Ehrman and Batterson were arrested in the 500 block of Reed Street, Beacon. Also arrested was 20-year-old Claudia Ann Blizzard (homeless) on two outstanding arrest warrants out of Wapello County, both warrants for escape from custody. Lastly, 30-year-old Steven Joseph Johnson of 1213 River Road, Leighton was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm as a convicted felon as well as drug violations. Blizzard and Johnson were taken into custody at 1213 River Road, Leighton. All four of these subjects will make their initial appearance in the Mahaska County Magistrates Court Friday.
The Sheriff’s Office was assisted with this investigation by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Oskaloosa Police Department, and the Keokuk County Sheriff’s Office. This investigation is continuing and additional charges are anticipated.
As a reminder, a criminal charge is merely an accusation and all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.