Note: This story appears in the Sunday, July 14 newspaper on Page A3.

Information gained in the child pornography-related investigation of Dick Adams has led to a second recent arrest, according to Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith.

Joshua Copeland, 37, of Guysville, was arrested Thursday on seven felony counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material and three counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor. He also faces a felony charge of having a weapon under disability.

He had his initial appearance Friday in Athens County Municipal Court via video from the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail.

Assigned Judge William Grim set bond at $100,000, scheduled a preliminary hearing for this coming Monday and ordered Copeland not to have contact with Adams.

The charges against Copeland allege that the offenses occurred Nov. 24, 2016.

A search was conducted Thursday of Copeland’s residence on Route 329, Smith said, adding that electronic equipment was seized.

According to the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office, evidence of communication between Adams and Copeland was allegedly discovered during the investigation of Adams.

Adams, 74, of Hawks Road, Athens, was indicted last week on one charge of pandering obscenity involving a minor and 31 counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor. The indictment against Adams alleges that the offenses occurred May 12, 2019.

Copeland is also scheduled to have a preliminary hearing this coming Monday on the charge of having a firearm under disability.

The weapons charge stems from Copeland’s 2003 conviction for arson. He entered an Alford guilty plea in 2003 to one felony count of arson. In an Alford plea, the defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is sufficient evidence to convict.

County Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Pepper explained that arson is considered a crime of violence, therefore Copeland is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

srobb@athensmessenger.com; Twitter @SteveRmessenger

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