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Former Ashland PD officer pleads guilty to federal charges

ASHLAND, Ky. (WYMT/WSAZ) - A former Ashland Police officer has pleaded guilty to federal drug and gun charges.

32-year-old Melvin "JR" Schoch Jr. pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute Oxycodone and possessing a firearm in during the commission of a drug crime, during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Ashland. Two other counts from a January superseding indictment were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

Schoch was an Ashland Police Officer from January 2004 until he resigned in May 2011.

According to the plea agreement, in May or June of 2009, Schoch, co-defendant Ellis Pittman and another person identified as "PS," were involved in surveillance of a residence in Boyd County where a person possessing quantities of Oxydocone pills and a large amount of money from sales of Oxycodone pills was believed to be.

Later, Schoch and the two other people returned to the residence and engaged in a home invasion to steal Oxycodone pills and/or drug money.

Schoch, who was on duty with the Ashland Police at time and armed with duty weapon, admitted to entering the residence under the guise of having a search warrant.

Prior to going into the residence, Schoch said he provided Pittman and "PS" with police tactical equipment.

Inside the residence, the three then attempted to locate a quantity of Oxycodone pills. When they didn't find the pills, Schoch then attempted to have a person identified as "DB" to contact other people to obtain the pills.

Schoch will be sentenced in August. He could spend a maximum 20 years in prison on the drug charge, and a minimum five years on the gun charge. Schoch was taken into custody following the plea.

Pittman's trial is set for later this month in U.S. District Court in Ashland.


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