District Attorney’s Office Files 11 New Charges Against Friendship Ridge Suspect

justice-target

The Beaver County District Attorney’s Office has filed 11 additional criminal charges against a man arrested by Sheriff’s Deputies last month at Friendship Ridge.

County Detectives have charged Larry A. Hicks with 5 Felony counts of Making A Materially False Written Statement, and 6 Misdemeanor offenses of Unsworn Falsification to Authorities. Detectives allege that Hicks knowingly provided untruthful information on an application for a concealed carry weapons permit back in May 2010, and knowingly provided the same incorrect information when purchasing a firearm at John Brown’s Armory in November 2011.

On May 4, 2010 Hicks allegedly answered NO to the following question on his application for a concealed carry permit: “Are you now charged with, or have you ever been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year? This is the maximum sentence that ‘you could have received,’ not the actual sentence you did receive.”

Detectives say Hicks knew the answer to that question was YES, and he knowingly lied when answering that question and other similar questions on the applications. Court records show that in 1989 Hicks pleaded guilty to one Felony charge of Conspiracy To Commit Robbery, and in 1992 he pleaded guilty to a Misdemeanor charge of Simple Assault. Hicks was sentenced to probation in both cases.

Searches conducted by the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office in 2010, and again by John Brown’s Armory in 2011, both failed to turn up Hicks’ two convictions, allowing him to “pass” the background checks.

“I’m not against records checks by any stretch of the imagination,” said District Attorney Anthony Berosh. “But records checks are false idols, this case serves as an example of that … If he had committed those offenses in Allegheny or Butler County, we likely wouldn’t have found them. How many more Hicks’ are out there?”

Berosh said Hicks’ background checks came up clean not because of errors by the people conducting them, but likely because of errors that occurred some twenty years ago when he was first convicted. “The system catalogs these cases using fingerprints. This was before the time of Central Booking, so there may not have been fingerprints on file, or the fingerprint cards sent in may have been bad.”

The case against Larry Hicks became a controversial one, after a series of investigative reports by the Beaver Countian and a subsequent independent investigation by County Detectives called into question an initial report filed by Sheriff’s Deputies. Beaver County Sheriff George David had conducted several media interviews back in January of this year, announcing that he and his men had “prevented a tragedy” by stopping Hicks from attempting to commit mass murder at the facility.

District Attorney Anthony Berosh dropped all charges filed by the Sheriff’s Office against Hicks after apparent inconsistencies were discovered in an Affidavit of Probable Cause filed by Deputy John Joe Fratangeli. Law enforcement sources have told the Beaver Countian that Deputy Fratangeli has retained a criminal defense attorney, and that the investigation conducted by County Detectives has been referred to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.

“It appears that the District Attorney’s Office has made great effort to find additional charges to file against Mr. Hicks,” his defense attorney Gerald “Jerry” Benyo told the Beaver Countian. “At the same time, there has been an absolute silence concerning any improprieties committed by law enforcement as to the original complaint in this case.”

“Don’t mistake silence with inaction,” said District Attorney Anthony Berosh dismissing Benyo’s insinuation.

Attorney Jerry Benyo said he believes there is now a troubling double standard in Beaver County. “The government expects its citizens to follow the rules that the government makes,” continued Benyo. “But when people in government or law enforcement don’t follow their own rules, there are no consequences for them. The District Attorney has not brought charges against an individual who filed under oath a questionable Criminal Complaint with a Magistrate, but feels very comfortable filing criminal charges against a man who filled out a form that is at best confusing, and that relies on an understanding of the law to fill out accurately.”

Larry Hicks is also facing a Felony charge of Carrying a Firearm Without A License, stemming from the original allegations at Friendship Ridge on January 17th. He faces trial for that charge on July 8th. Hicks was released from jail on bond in that case after members of the community donated bail money to a defense fund established in his name.

A preliminary hearing for the new charges is scheduled for March 19th.

35 comments

  • JERRY JERRY JERRY JERRY! Give the DA shit!! he come down with a box of charges for hicks and leaves the cops alone DONT TRUST BEAVER COUNTY COURTS!!!!!!!!!!

  • You said it like it is Jerry. There are double standards in BC. The sheriff’s dept did a lot more damage with their affadavid by fabricating this whole arrest. David didn’t know this info but proceeded to carry on with his bullshit.

  • The David’s are like O.J. Simpsom…They have the money to buy their way out of anything. Their own system is screwed up, but it’s soneone else’s fault. Typical goverment way of life.

  • Can someone explain how the sheriff, and other officials in this case continues to get paid and continues to have a job and receiving a paycheck from the BC taxpayers, when there is confirmations that they broke the law? However you can have an Officer that worked in Ohioville and South Heights get fired and does not have any pending charges?

    • people are afraid of georgie because him and his gang tries to destroy anyone who crosses him and he dont stop. some sheriff. :insuspense:

  • Grasping at straws. Throwing shit against the wall to see what sticks. Attempting to create a smoke screen to take the heat off of the Sheriff’s office. I hope Benyo continues to make a stink about the Sheriff’s office illegal arrest. I hope Benyo takes this case all the way to the Supreme Court if he has too.

  • The more aggravation that they put Mr. Hicks through the higher his civil judgement will be when he sues the county. So, Mr. DA, instead of pressing charges where they belong (against George David and company) you just keep finding things to charge Mr. Hicks with…..and when re-election time comes around you can explain to those in the county why the county ended up on the hook for millions after your stellar investigative work.

  • John Paul, I have nothing to hide, but now I wonder about maintaining commenting anonymity on this site, if governmental people are going to these lengths to discover information about citizens. It sounds paranoid doesn’t it?

    Perhaps I am completely wrong, but I interpret these DA actions as possible retributions and roadblocks. I hope not. I hope they are above that. If not, though, Everyman, like myself, might feel a little less secure in his treatment by the legal system. How far can “they” dig here, on this site, into the identities behind the screen names, and enact retribution or harassment against commenters — maybe even 5 years hence?

    I think I know your answer — that it would be illegal to hack or intrude upon the BC site — but given the sophistication of computer database intrusions (re: China) it is worth asking. Your computer expertise is exceptional, and I can only assume that intrusion protection is in place, and that submitted registration information is confidential. But, I regret, I am beginning to not trust anyone in government anymore. I do trust you, JP; it’s the other guys who concern me.

    I witnessed the data keeping changeover with the advent of computers — from paper to electronics. Mistakes became life sentences. No second chances, and available to all. I foresee life history data cards replacing driver’s licenses, then, embedded, programmable chips at birth. Ok, off-topic.

    “They” read these comments. How can we be assured that they stay outside the “firewall” of our existence, and for that matter leave us alone?

    I don’t want to hide several layers deep in “proxies” or go to another location to hide my IP or URL, just because some people might potentially be digging.

    This DA action concerns me greatly. I hope it is not what, or will not, be what it seems to be.

  • Berosh is tough on crime so long as its poor people doing the crimes. He aint gonna touch Georgie or his deputies.

  • If this is a conspiracy to undermine the Hicks case, we have a very large problem here, people. I hope it is not, because basic trust in government is at stake, and the fallout could be huge.

  • No one is expected to know the entire law library. Attorneys surely know more and should, than the average citizen. And yet, even our Sheriff, who has been sworn to uphold the law, doesn’t follow it. And would/ should know more than the average citizen as well.

    In defense of Mr. Hicks, the application is confusing to people and especially those less fortunate in the brains department and particularly where crime and punishment is concerned. I find it hard to believe they can prove he knows what the punishment would be for those crimes and secondly that he intentionally lied.

    Secondly, if PA wasn’t so quick to just hand out carry conceal permits, they would take two weeks make people wait and check into people’s history’s further.

    I agree, this is a further smear campaign against Mr. Hicks to take the spotlight off of deputies lying on a sworn affidavit. This is to take the spotlight off of the unlawful behavior of the Sheriff.

    It seems that the rot goes further up the ladder than most think. Oh when will the good ole’ boys club be put to an end?

  • This man is known to me! He is dangerous and not stable. I regret that so many are making this entire situation an anti sheriff/county battle. I fear for those at Friendship Ridge. I ask that people opt on the side of caution and stop using this for a hidden agenda. Please.

  • This DA action targeting Hicks, is starting to look and sound like what happened in Egypt, Libia, and Syria as it relates to people protesting the system, being targeted by the government,….then the people dissapearing, then …. ! ! If this would be reported in the general mainstream media people would lose trust in their local government, then people would take matters in their own hands and don’t rely on the Sheriff’s office. Have the phone calls to the Sheriff office stoped, have people quit calling? After reading this, I know I wouldn’t call.

  • I can’t believe what I’m reading. The man attempted to commit robbery. He wa convicted of doping the very Dane thing he was charged with by the Sheriff’s office and what many people he was accused of. To all the people who attacked commentators who have dealt with this man, asking them for proof there it is. I called this. The minute this criminal was charged with added offenses, is a conspiracy to protect the sheriff’s . Give it a rest people. Could it be that he is nothing more than a criminal. Could it be that his lawyer is PR hind looking for a pay day. And they application may be confusing but, “have you ever been convicted of a crime” not to confusing to me. And not to complicated for someone who has the mental capacity to plan a robbery.stop letting your feeling toward the sheriff cloud your judgement. This case is nothing more than what it is.

  • I agree with @topac.but that said David and the deputies that lied should pay just as any other person who falsify a police report.. the cops do it all the time just because they say it happened the way they said it did. I know from my own experience they make false statements in their reports and leave out any misconduct they are guilty of..they say they are aloud to lie to get someone to fess up as they put it….as for Hicks the new charges should not.stop him from going after David and his posse for their illegal arrest of him…and if he is guilty of the charges found in the witch hunt do the time then enjoy the money from the narcissistic corrupt sheriff and his deputies…

  • Hi all. Just a few questions, and please feel free to enlighten me (minus the insults, as I insult no one…just not productive in a friendly blog such as this).
    1). I actively carry a firearm with a concealed permit. I don’t understand, am confused by, how the form you fill out to get one is confusing. Simple questions that start with “Have you ever, Are you currently,and Do you acknowledge your statements as true? The last one should steer you away if you are uncertain, or at the least, raise your hand and ask the meaning of. Those that want to deceive the form will undoubtedly answer falsely.., Right?
    2). The DA was brought into this investigation because, undoubtedly mainly from this site, demand for an investigation into it. Now that the DA has -somewhat- spoken, still not good enough. Maybe let it go to trial and, if found guilty, appeal. Go to the next higher court. That is Hicks given rights, and he should follow through if he desires.
    3). Culpability… Hicks Was charged and found guilty of harassing an elderly man walking his dog @5:30 in the morning with his (Hicks) .22 cal gun pointed at them, outside Friendship Ridge in November 2012.
    4). I am not so sure I am worried about “Government” people finding out who I am on this site. I’ve never had so many pings and proxy UT hits through my logged router and firewall than I have since posting on this site. Not paranoid, not accusing, nor am I scared. As stated before, expertise goes a long way.
    5). This all goes out in my own humble opinion.

  • WHO do you think runs and controls the drug business in Beaver County….just wondering…look at Aliqq…Ambridge Beaver Falls and every other cities in our county just to name a few…I wonder…..

  • The question isn’t simply ” have you committed a crime?”

    It’s, “Are you now charged with, or have you ever been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year? This is the maximum sentence that ‘you could have received,’ not the actual sentence you did receive.”

    Without Google or access to the law library or a law degree or criminal degree or if you’re a cop. You cannot tell me you know what crimes are punishable by more than a year, and you know it.

  • @Oic15009: I’m sorry, but I don’t understand your response and some terms at #4. But it doesn’t matter, because almost any site not under constant surveillance can be hacked, even yours, expertise or not. Since you profess expertise and online monitoring, perhaps you could do it too. I’m not accusing you, just expressing what could be. Even if a novice visits YouTube ands scans the hacking videos, he will see that some very easy targets and methods exist. And, you can even download programs to do it for you. As for the “government”? No, I don’t trust anyone.

  • @Oic15009: Perhaps my point is overstated. Simply put, someone for some reason went the extra mile to get infoormation on Hicks. That concerns me, because I question just what amount of searching is taking place on the public. Is it limited and justified, or is it in some cases just a fishing expedition? Who does it, for what reasons, and why?

  • @Noforkedtongue: Beautiful. One of my favorite quotes: “White man speak with forked tongue.” (The Indians in reference to the French, then later, Tonto to the Lone Ranger).

  • Today Chief Nate Harper of the Pittsburgh police got fired. He was also under investigation by a grand jury. Now why is the sheriff still in power and why is corporal John Fratangeli still on active duty. He should have been suspended immediately. Why didn’t sheriff Georgie take action against this deputy? What the hell is really going on here? Again, it was a setup against Larry Hicks. True, the current charges are correct but it really is overshaddowing the corrupt office of the sheriff. Is this truly the plan of the DA?

  • This has nothing to do with David. Hicks is your avid everyday ( OJ)! criminal that everyone has bet their last dime on….This time the glove did fit. …Not only did it fit his name was on the tag. And by the way…people ….your posting on the Internet…nothing is anonymous…

  • And if you are convicted of more than one crime….like this guy is….YOU CAN’T HAVE A GUN!!! PERIOD!!!!

  • @ Quippan

    Is that specifically stated on the carry conceal application? What you said that is.

    Everyone is a genius but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb it will live its whole life believing its stupid. AE

    No one knows the ALL the laws AND The sheriffs department doesn’t follow them.

  • Listen your really digging….the guy lied, period. He doesn’t need to know the laws that is the job of the issuer….that’s why in a court of law you can’t use ingorance….”oh sorry judge I didn’t know”…. It’s funny actually because no one else with regards to this case can use that excuse…. Any HONEST person would have simply asked…ASKED A QUESTION…” Sir or ma’am I have this prior criminal history, do I still qualify for a weapons permitt” ” we’ll… mr honest person thank you for asking…NO YOU DON’T”
    The bottom line is this….and everyone knows it…. This current situation is the ONLY chance to bring up a case against the sheriff. That’s why it’s being emphasized by the COUNTIAN. Lets face it….there is nothing on the sheriff that anyone can use or it would have been done already. These current investigations are just enough to quite all the critics and if its found that there was wrong doing they will simply make him retire. This temporary injunction is just that….temporary until they can amend the law. If done properly this security could provide added revenue to beaver county and they know it.
    This Hicks is a nuisance that has been given enough chances. :loser:

  • Look I’m all about change for the better…I love this place that’s why I live here…not to mention I have children, which I can speak for most if not all on here are the reason for our concern. And if there is wrong doing of any kind it needs addressed and corrected …but to support a man like this to further your cause…. There are a lot of people who donated money kicking themselves in the ass right now… He deserves to be in jail which is we’re he will end up in the end. Think of how many times he has been charged with a crime not to mention convicted….one pending and 11 added…. And I’m sure if they dug deeper there is much much more.
    What makes me laugh is I read these comments that the sheriff is dangerous and needs to stopped before he hurts someone …. and the same people making these comments turn right around and support a man like this….

  • Ignorance of the law is no excuse, but ignorance of fact is. You can’t be held accountable for not knowing all the facts. He believed what he said to be fact when he signed off on his application. Because again, no person is held to such a standard to know all the facts, laws and punishments. Why do you believe the judicial system was designed in such a way with checks and balances, innocent until proven guilty etc?

    Also keep in mind, opinions do not affect facts, but facts affect opinions, or should if you’re rational.

  • It doesn’t matter who Hicks is, was, or will be. The original issue remains legal malfeasance. You speak to them, Pengaroo; at least you make sense and don’t require that all people be on the Social Registry.

  • I’m rational my friend…twist it any which way you want …” Ma’am I have a past record, can you tell me if I can have a permit.” It’s that easy….were you there when he filled out his app…if you were….. shame on you for not helping him lol…but I’m not sure you were so let’s stop speculating…..you want to use facts look at the facts presented like a jury would and not like a group who hates the sheriff and would cut your nose off to spite your face….regardless of whether or not he recieved his notice that his weapons permitt was revoked he should have never had one. HE LIED… You tell me opinions do not effect facts…. but facts effect opinion…well lets revisit that. You nor I was there when Hicks recieved his permitt I’m confident of that ….so you nor I know what he was thinking or do we know what he knew at that time. Soooo…your observation is nothing more than an opinion just as mine…only mine is more rational considering the charges and convictions…. He knew full well he was lying and Rub…who I respect in this ..well website… If this situation was in fact a mishap, then thank god for it because it took a CRIMINAL off the streets…you’re all putting your faith in the wrong person….

  • @quippian if you weren’t so quick to argue with me, you wouldn’t have missed my point.

    You can’t prove he intentionally lied anymore than you can he intentionally didn’t. At best its a moot point and the system is using him to take heat off the ability to manage what has now become a runaway truck. Philosophy 101 – prove their isn’t a wooden nickel in your living room. Good luck.