UHRICHSVILLE — A Trenton Avenue couple is being held in the Tuscarawas County jail on $1 million bonds after they allegedly gave sugar cookies laced with a laxative to striking school employees.
Bo J. Cosens, 29, and Rachel D. Sharrock, 25, are charged with contaminating a substance for human consumption, a felony.
The arrests are the result of a Uhrichsville police investigation that began after they received an anonymous tip about a video posted on Cosens’ Facebook page, according to Sgt. Michael Hickman.
The video includes Cosens’ comments about striking Claymont City Schools employees who were standing near Claymont Primary School at 320 Trenton Ave. The nonteaching employees are members of the Ohio Association of Public School Employees and have been on strike since March 22. Cosens said he was irritated that people were honking their horns as they passed the workers.
"There’s a lot of rant about OAPSE members protesting on Trenton Avenue," Hickman said. "He had made threats towards them. He mentioned also that he was going to get a gun and shoot them, and in the video as well, there was an apparent drug transaction that took place on Facebook live during this video."
Hickman says the couple also talks in the video about a plan to send the protesters a batch of contaminated cookies.
"In this video as well, his girlfriend and him talk about mixing laxative pills with cookies and delivering them to OAPSE workers," he says. "She’s actually holding up a package of laxative pills, and she’s popping them out of the package, crushing them up and mixing them in with the cookie batter."
Hickman says they later found a second video in which Cosens and Sharrock the couple talk about delivering the cookies.
"In that video, you see him yelling out his bathroom window every time a car drives by and honks. He yells obscenities out his bathroom window, and they also start joking about how their friend delivered the cookies to the workers," he said.
Hickman says he later spoke to the union members who confirmed that the cookies were delivered but nobody ate them.
"They still had the plate of cookies, and I was able to confiscate them, and we’re currently looking for a lab to send the cookies in for testing to confirm that, in fact, that those have laxatives in them," he says.
Hickman says Cosens was initially arrested Thursday and charged with aggravated menacing. His report of the arrest said a large amount of marijuana, cash and drug paraphernalia was seized. He said Cosens was held at the Tuscarawas County Jail until Monday, when the judge had to release him.
Cosens and Sharrock appeared Tuesday in the Southern District of Tuscarawas County Court, where Judge Brad Hillyer set their bail.
In addition to the contamination charge, Cosens is charged with complicity, disorderly conduct, and permitting drug abuse, all misdemeanors. Sharrock is also charged with complicity, disorderly conduct and permitting drug abuse. Hickman says police will seek a felony charge against Cosens for trafficking drugs in a school zone.