Pine Hill Meats: Former butcher jailed for drugs


SALEM, Ohio — Former Pine Hill Meats butcher shop owner John W. Schneider has been sentenced to 18 months in jail on two felony drug counts.

The order came June 20 from Columbiana County Common Pleas Court Judge David Tobin.


Tobin sentenced Schneider, 59, to six months in the Lorain Correctional Institution for possession of marijuana, a fourth-degree felony; and an additional 12 months for possession of drugs, a third-degree felony.

Schneider is to report to the Columbiana County Jail Aug. 1 to begin serving his sentence.

Schneider was also to forfeit a total of $35,415 to the state, plus horticultural lighting and growing systems, a pill cutter, and scales found during the raid.


The former Pine Hill Meats, off Mountz Road near Minerva, was raided by Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife officers and Columbiana County sheriff’s deputies in November 2006 following a year-long investigation into the business.

Schneider and his wife, Joanne, were arrested on misdemeanor charges of commercializing wildlife, buying deer meat, possessing untagged deer parts and records violations.

In December 2006, the Schneiders were found guilty of the wildlife charges and ordered to pay the Ohio Division of Wildlife $6,000 in restitution and $3,000 in other fines. John Schneider also received a jail sentence.

Pine Hill Meats has gone out of business since the raid.


Officers also discovered drugs and drug paraphernalia during their search of the property.

Joanne Schneider was charged with possession of drugs but her attorney, Frederic Naragon of Salem, said that case is going to be dismissed.

“They indicted her because she was there and her husband’s actions were occurring on property they owned jointly. She had nothing to do with it,” Naragon said.

An employee was also arrested during the raid on drug-related charges.

That employee, Steven Ratliff, was sentenced to six months in jail and had his driver’s license suspended for two years. His attorney, Eugene Cazantzes of Canton, filed in June for early release, but no decision has been made.

Related coverage:

Investigation leads to four more convictions (4/5/2007)

Pine Hill Meats owners guilty of wildlife violations; get probation, fines (12/21/2006)

Undercover sting nets arrests at Pine Hill Meats Nov. 23, 2006

Get our Top Stories in Your Inbox

Next step: Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.



We are glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated according to our comment policy.

Receive emails as this discussion progresses.