January 11, 2017

Investigators found drugs, firearms and stolen items Monday in Jefferson when they searched three properties that are connected to suspected man-and-wife thieves.

Numerous local, state and federal law officers searched the house of Tyson and Joey Ruth that afternoon, as well as two other properties owned by Russell Cosens, Tyson Ruth’s grandfather.

The Ruths, who are felons, were arrested in December after a police informant bought a shotgun from them in Carroll. Felons cannot possess firearms.

They are held in the Carroll County jail.

Tyson Ruth told the informant he also had three semiautomatic rifles, according to court records.

The searches on Monday stem from that investigation, Jefferson Police Chief Mark Clouse said. He expects further criminal charges to be filed in the coming weeks. He declined to say specifically what was confiscated in the searches.

“It’s still a deep investigation at this point,” Clouse said.

Russell Cosens is not suspected of being involved in the alleged criminal activity, Clouse said.

Officers in four counties have been investigating the Ruths for more than a year for a string of burglaries and thefts from buildings and vehicles.

The Ruths allegedly drove around with two-way radios, hammers, a police dispatch scanner, camouflage clothing, binoculars and flashlights that they used to commit the crimes.

Both pleaded guilty last month to a felony theft charge for stealing hunting equipment in Greene County. They are set to be sentenced late this month.

The Ruths — both are 36 — are unemployed and abuse methamphetamine, court records show. The police informant said the Ruths injected meth into their veins several times the day the informant spent at their house.

The Ruths are held in jail in lieu of $5,000 bonds apiece.