Already jailed, Conewago Twp. gadfly now indicted by feds
A Conewago Township gadfly already locked up for allegedly threatening township officials and selling stolen weapons has now been indicted in federal court.
Chad Michael Stoner, 28, of 910 Copenhaffer Road, is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in federal court in Harrisburg on two charges — transmitting an interstate communication containing a threat to injure police officers and Conewago Township officials and being a felon in illegal firearm possession, according to court records.
As of Monday, he remained in York County Prison in lieu of bail and on a probation violation, according to county officials.
His girlfriend, Emily Winand, 27, also of the township, was charged Dec. 9 with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce. She was ordered as part of her release not to enter township buildings or to have any contact with township officials, court records state.
According to their indictments, Stoner and Winand "conspired and agreed" to post a video Aug. 10 on YouTube of Stoner allegedly making threats at the Conewago Township building. In the video, he suggests the municipality "could turn into Houston" — he meant Dallas — and added, "That's where they shot all them cops."
Stoner's indictment, signed Dec. 7, also alleges that on July 8, he possessed three guns despite being a convicted felon prohibited from possessing firearms. The indictment includes the serial numbers of the three rifles.
In August, Winand provided The York Dispatch with a copy of the video she shot of Stoner walking into the Conewago Township building and speaking with officials.
Township clashes: Stoner has been clashing with Conewago Township officials for about two years, according to his defense attorney, Farley Holt.
Northern York County Regional Police said they were called to the township building about 7:15 p.m. Aug. 3 by supervisor Chairwoman Lorreta Wilhide, who reported that 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.
It's that alleged threat, once posted online, that violated federal law, according to the couple's indictments.
Gun at issue: Holt has 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 that Stoner is in jail "for expressing his First Amendment rights — his political free speech."
Winand has told The York Dispatch the clashes are happening because Stoner is collecting information about the township. She confirmed that Stoner was raised in Conewago Township.
Sold stolen guns? Northern York County Regional Police last summer arrested Stoner and charged him with allegedly selling stolen weapons.
On Sept. 21, 2015, West York resident Ronald Hilton reported to borough police that his home had been burglarized and five firearms and a rifle scope were stolen, according to charging documents filed by West York Detective David Kahley.
On July 14, Hilton alerted Kahley that 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.
'Legitimate vendor': Kahley checked the serial number on one of the rifles and determined that 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.
Holt has said Stoner bought the guns from "a legitimate vendor" and paid fair market value for them.
On Monday, Holt declined immediate comment about Stoner's federal charges.
The attorney said he does not yet know whether he'll be representing Stoner in the federal case.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.