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Jailed Former Ohio Chief Accused Of Stealing Firearms

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio -- A former Martins Ferry police chief already serving jail time is now accused of stealing firearms from the department he once led.

Barry Carpenter resigned as chief in 2009 amid a celebrity surrogate scandal. Carpenter was tried and convicted in November 2010 in connection with a theft from the home of a woman who acted as a surrogate mother for the twins of Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick.

Prosecutors maintained that Carpenter wanted to sell items and pictures he took when in the surrogate's home to tabloid photographers.

At that time, a jury found Carpenter guilty of receiving stolen property, theft in office and tampering with evidence. He was sentenced to two years and eight months in jail and remains at the London Correctional Institute.

On Thursday, Special Prosecutor Shawn Hervey released details of a new indictment filed in Belmont County Court by a grand jury, which accuses Carpenter of three counts of theft of a firearm.

The charges stem from a state audit that revealed thousands of dollars was missing from the Police Department. After an outside investigation by the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, Hervey said investigators felt they had probable cause to move forward an indictment for the alleged firearms theft.

Each of the three counts of theft of a firearm is a third-degree felony, meaning Carpenter could face a maximum of an additional 15 years in prison if found guilty.

Carpenter is scheduled to appear in court on June 10 for a judicial release hearing. Hervey said it's possible that Carpenter will also be served with the new charges on that day.

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