Updated Wed, Jun 18, 2014 10:36 am
A 24-year-old man from The Plains is headed to prison for the next eight years after pleading guilty to a number of burglaries that have taken place in Athens.
Joseph Ryan McGee appeared in Athens County Common Pleas Court on Monday and changed his plea to guilty on four counts of burglary. Each were second-degree felony charges punishable by a maximum of 32 years in prison.
With the plea agreement, McGee will serve eight years in prison and will not be eligible for early judicial release. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the case.
According to a news release from the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office, McGee broke into residences on Franklin Avenue and Grosvenor Street on Nov. 17, 2013, and into two separate homes on Walker Street April 9.
“Athens County residents deserve to feel secure in their homes,” Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said in the release. “That’s why we’ve created the Property Crimes Task Force to help prevent these kinds of crimes from happening in our community.”
Blackburn told The Messenger that the seriousness of the crime and that it was committed multiple times warranted a prison term.
Blackburn added that it is believed the motive behind the crimes was to obtain finances in order to fund a drug habit.
“No matter how much income you have, a drug habit will overcome your income and some commit crime to support the habit,” Blackburn said.
This case was investigated by the Athens Police Department, which is also looking into a string of breaking and entering cases in the Athens area. Police are investigating a series of more than 20 residential burglaries that have taken place since April.