Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

June 14, 2013

Estranged wife of ex-APD officer sentenced

Kenneth Hart
The Independent

ASHLAND — The estranged wife of a former Ashland Police Department officer who pleaded guilty last month to drug-related crimes was sentenced Monday to one year and one day in prison.

U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning handed down the sentence to Ashley Dawn Schoch, 29, on a charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone, to which she pleaded guilty in November. Three additional charges were dismissed under the terms of her plea agreement.

Bunning also sentenced Schoch to three years of supervised release following her prison term, and recommended that she serve her sentence at the federal detention facility closest to her home in Buford, Ga. However, her final placement will be up to the federal Bureau of Prisons.

Also on Monday, Bunning sentenced Schoch’s co-defendant, Phillip John Spurlock, to time served plus six years of supervised release. Spurlock pleaded guilty to the same offense as Schoch.

According to her plea agreement, Schoch sold pills containing oxycodone to confidential informants working for law enforcement on three separate occasions in 2010 and 2011. In pleading guilty, she acknowledged the total number of pills attributable to her was 100.

Spurlock admitted he both supplied pills to Schoch for distribution and distributed them himself, according to court records. He put the number of pills attributable to him at 67.

Schjoch and Spurlock both were indicted by a federal grand jury in November.

Schoch’s estranged husband,  Melvin Charles “JR” Schoch Jr., 32, pleaded guilty May 13 in federal court to charges of attempting to possess oxycodone with intent to distribute and possessing a firearm during the commission of a drug crime.

The firearms charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years. The attempted possession charge carries maximum term of 20 years.

In pleading guilty, Schoch — a former APD officer who joined the Bradenton, Fla., Police Department in October — admitted he, his co-defendant, Ellis Pittman, 34, and another defendant identified in court records only as “P.S.” conducted surveillance on the Boyd County home of an individual they believed to be in possession of a large quantity of oxycodone pills and a substantial amount of cash made from the illegal sale of narcotics.

Later, the three returned to the residence and “engaged in a home invasion ... to steal oxycodone pills and/or drug proceeds,” records state.

 Schoch — who was on duty at the time and was in uniform and carrying his duty weapon, a Glock .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol — provided P.S. and Pittman with “police tactical equipment” and  “entered the home under the guise of serving a search warrant." Pittman served as a lookout.

Neither cash nor pills were found in the residence, records state. The incident occurred in May or June of 2009’

Schoch's sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 12. Pittman’s attorney filed a motion May 21 for his client to be re-arraigned so he can change his plea from not guilty to guilty.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or

(606) 326-2654.