A former Ashland Police Department officer indicted last week on federal drug charges will be arraigned next week.
Melvin Charles “JR” Schoch Jr., 29, of Bradenton, Fla., will make his initial court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward B. Atkins at 10:30 a.m. Friday, according to court records.
His co-defendant, Ellis Pittman, 34, of Ashland, will be arraigned on Dec. 20. Pittman is lodged in the Boyd County Detention Center, where he is being held on unrelated charge.
A U.S. District Court grand jury sitting in Lexington last week returned a true bill charging Schoch and Pittman, 34, with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and attempting to possess oxycodone with intent to distribute.
The indictment alleges the two conspired together, and with others, to distribute oxycodone in Boyd County between November 2009 and April 5 of this year, and attempted to possess oxycodone for purposes of distribution between May and August 2010.
Both men could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison and fined up to $1 million if they are convicted.
Schoch was sworn in as an officer with the Brandenton Police Department on Oct. 24, according to a story in the online edition of the Brandenton Herald. He was arrested last week in Florida and later released on a property bond posted by his father.
Few details have been released about the case against Schoch and Pittman. However, records state the case is related to the prosecution of Schoch’s estranged wife, Ashley Dawn Schoch. Ashley Schoch and her co-defendant, Phillip John Spurlock, on Friday pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone.
According to their plea agreements, Ashley Schoch and Spurlock both sold oxycodone to confidential informants working for law enforcement in 2010 and 2011. Ashley Schoch admitted the number of pills attributable to her was about 100, while Spurlock acknowledged the number attributable to him was about 67.
Ashley Schoch and Spurlock will be sentenced March 11 by Judge David L. Bunning.
KENNETH HART can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or