Clipped From The Morning Herald

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By HERB PERONE MARTINSBURG, W. Va. - Three Pennsylvania men told a federal jury here Monday how, they stole thousands of dollars worth of farm equipment, office supplies and other goods and sold them to Nelson "Ace" Clark of Bunker Hill and James "Satan" Price of Greensboro, Va. in 1975. Clark, who owns and operates the popular Top Brass Club in Bunker Hill, went on trial in federal District Court here Monday. He is charged with one count of conspiracy, two counts of selling and disposing of stolen goods and two counts of selling and disposing of stolen motor vehicles. If convicted on all counts, Clark could face a maximum of 45 years in prison and a maximum fine of $50,000. In his opening statement to the jury, Assistant U.S. Attorney William Kolibash said the goods that Clark and Price bought from the three Pennsylvania men were obtained in five separate burglaries that took place in Pennsylvania between May and September of 1975. Clark, Price and two of .the burglars, Guy "Butch" Seiferd and William Plank, were involved in a conspiracy regarding the theft, transportation and sale of the goods, Kolibash charged. "If there weren't two sides to this case, we wouldn't be here today," Richard Douglas, one of two attorneys defending Clark, told the jury. Douglas described his client as a Bunker Hill native who "quit school at the age of 16 and went into the service." After 24 years in the U.S. Air Force, including two tours of duty in Vietnam and one in Korea, Clark retired honorably with the rank of master- sergeant, Douglas said. After retiring, he returned to Bunker Hill and established his successful Top Brass Club, the defense attorney stated. Since then, Clark's club has become a , "center of (community) activity in Bunker Hill," Douglas said! "Many people came to him to borrow money" because he is "a nice guy." Douglas said Clark "is not guilty of these or any other offenses" because he had "no criminal intent. He was simply trying to help his friends." ' . Douglas asked the jurors to be aware of "who's telling the truth and who's lying" during the course of the trial. "That's what this case is'going to boil down to.... You are going to hear a lot of lies," he said. Kolibash. called six witnesses to testify about the five burglaries that produced the stolen goods in question. ' Joyce Ampascher, a bookkeeper for the Straley Farm Equipment Co. of Dover, Pa., testified that approximately $7,000 worth of chain saws were stolen from her place of business in May, 1975. John D. Wicke, owner of the Wicke Office Supply Co. of New O x f o r d , Pa. typewriters, calculators and other goods with a wholesale value of 56,415.58 were stolen from his shop in early July, 1975. Harry G. Ekdahl, owner of Ekdahl's Camper Supplies in Gettysburg, Pa., testified that CB radios, stereo equipment and an air conditioner, with total retail values amounting to 53,71)0, were stolen from his store later that same month. Clair Worley, who owned a farm and lawn equipment establishment in York, Pa., at the time, said six lawn tractors and six"mower attachments for the tractors were taken from his warehouse in mid-August, 1975. The wholesale value of one of the tractors was just over $1,500, Worley said. Each of the other five wholesaled for $1,603, he slated. V.'orley testified that the tractors were returned to him by police about a month later. Some were damaged, some were used, and serial numbers had .been removed from two others, he said. H.R. Gutshall, who owns a farm equipment business in. Carlisle, Pa. said that on Sept. 5, 1975, his employees discovered a John Deere Diesel tractor missing from th' premises. It had a wholesale value of more than $8,400, he said. · The tractor was later returned by police, Gutshall said. It had been used and was slightly damaged, he testified. Lee K. Flnkenbinder, a salesman for Peterman Farm Equipment in Carlisle, Pa., said that on the same day, two Massey Ferguson tractors were missing from his place ... of business. The two had a total wholesale way of getting ya|ue of nearly ^ m he ^ . until the plans come whc[) (he twQ , ractors were | a ( er returned right, wrong or by aulnorUieS| F i nke nbinder said, they were number l)ad been didn't want removed from one. structure would In testimony later in the day, Seiferd "we don't plank admitted to performing all of the no." burglaries. William E. Krape said he had assisted the o t h e r men with the early to meet with , mber t ractor thefts - m Carlisle, group that sdferd ^y he was lntrodu ced. to clark by Ihe city. The , M Pennsv i vama frie nds in May, 1975, costs of opening ' when Plank "two another the number about buying. office Top there." for and them night, days for pay IBM's, him "cash" that with. said About the met to the returned Price Hill, Top for now he an to

Clipped from
  1. The Morning Herald,
  2. 20 Sep 1977, Tue,
  3. Page 13

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