Conewago Twp. gadfly now accused of selling stolen guns
- Chad Stoner has been in county prison for three weeks, accused of threatening township officials.
- He is now also accused of selling two rifles that were stolen from a West York home during a burglary.
A Conewago Township man jailed after police accused him of threatening township officials is now facing felony charges for allegedly selling two stolen guns earlier this summer.
Chad Michael Stoner, 28, of 910 Copenhaffer Road, was arraigned Wednesday by District Judge David Eshbach on two counts of receiving stolen property, both graded as third-degree felonies. Eshbach set bail at $50,000.
Stoner has been in prison since Aug. 5. His bail has been revoked in another case, so he can't be released even if he can post bail.
Stoner had been clashing with township supervisors and Northern York County Regional Police for nearly two years, his attorney has said. Officers twice filed charges against him earlier this month based on those encounters.
His girlfriend, Emily Winand, alleges the clashes are happening because Stoner is collecting information about the township. She confirmed Stoner was raised in Conewago Township.
New allegations: On Sept. 21 of last year, West York resident Ronald Hilton reported to borough police that his home had been burglarized and five firearms and a rifle scope stolen, according to charging documents filed by West York Detective David Kahley.
On July 14, Hilton alerted Kahley he believed he'd found two of his rifles, which his friend had purchased, police said.
The friend told investigators that Stoner — his neighbor — sold him a Remington 700 Custom Deluxe .300 ultra mag rifle and a Winchester model 70 .270 rifle on July 12, according to charging documents.
The friend also said Stoner "told him that he bought the firearms new and ... had them for several years," documents allege.
Kahley checked the serial number on one of the rifles and determined it was one stolen from Hilton, documents state. And Hilton identified the second rifle as his as well, based on modifications he made to it with custom parts, according to documents.
'Poppycock': Defense attorney Farley Holt said his client broke no laws.
"It's poppycock," he said. "My client told me he purchased the guns from a legitimate vendor and that he paid fair-market value for the guns. And I believe I have witnesses who will verify they were with him when the guns were purchased. ... I was informed by (Stoner's) girlfriend that she believes she's finally located the (sales) receipts."
Stoner's preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 9, according to court records.
Township clashes: Stoner has been clashing with Conewago Township officials for about two years, according to Holt.
Northern Regional Police said they were called to the township building about 7:15 p.m. Aug. 3 by supervisor Chairwoman Lorreta Wilhide, who reported Stoner was causing a disturbance at the meeting.
A video of the encounter, posted on YouTube, shows Stoner began speaking during the public-comment section of the meeting but was stopped and told to speak at the microphone. He refused.
After more back and forth, Stoner said, "Either we can stand here and argue and tie this whole meeting up for your simple, arbitrary and capricious rule, or I can continue on as I was and then I can sit down, and you don't have to deal with me anymore."
Wilhide responded, "OK. Hold up. Just a minute. I'll make a suggestion —" but was cut off by Stoner, who said: "Uh, no. Public comment is not over. You cannot supersede my public comment after the meeting has already started."
'Jack-booted thugs': When Wilhide responded she believed she could, Stoner took umbrage.
"No you can't," he told her. "I will not allow you to continue on. You better call your jack-booted thugs and have 'em get over here."
Wilhide called police, who responded and arrested Stoner after he refused to walk outside with an officer.
For that encounter, Stoner is charged with disrupting a public meeting and disorderly conduct.
The next day, he and Winand went into the Conewago Township building and spoke with township manager Lou Anne Bostic.
Stoner asked to be placed on the agenda for the next township supervisors meeting regarding "official corruption between the Northern Regionals and Lorreta Wilhide ... and Lorreta Wilhide's clear and present prejudicial attacks that she is taking upon me."
'I have a feeling': He then told Bostic: "I have a feeling — now this is just my personal belief — I think if she continues to act in the way she is, I think Houston, Texas, is gonna turn into Conewago Township."
Bostic replied, "I'm not asking."
Stoner, who police said had a handgun and a large sheath knife strapped to him at the time, then said, "That's where they shot all them cops."
Officers reviewed security footage from the township building and determined the large revolver in the holster Stoner was wearing "appeared to be a real firearm," documents allege.
Police filed a firearms charge against Stoner alleging he violated the state's concealed-weapons law when he got into his car with the gun on his hip, according to Holt. They also charged him with making terroristic threats.
Gun at issue: Holt told The York Dispatch the gun in question is not a real firearm. It's a CO2-propelled gun that fires rubber balls and pepper balls, and it is less lethal than a pellet gun, according to Holt.
Holt also said Stoner never threatened to shoot police.
"He's basically saying unless things change ... bad things are going to happen," the attorney said. "Not that he's going to do bad things."
Holt said there's a long history between Stoner and the township, and maintains Stoner is in jail "for expressing his First Amendment rights — his political free speech."
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.