NEW DETAILS: State, Dayton-area businessman in evidence fight in EPA dumping case

An illegal dumping case against a prominent Dayton-area businessman has both sides at odds over the factualness of some evidence and if other data was legally collected.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office is seeking to block Steve Rauch and his businesses from using “evidence of mistake of fact” to dispute felony charges involving Rauch, one of his managers, three of Rauch’s businesses and city of West Carrollton-owned land, court records show.

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The defense contends evidence was illegally obtained at one of Rauch’s businesses - Bearcreek Farms - a claim the state disputes.

The AG’s office wants the court to keep “the defendants from arguing or presenting evidence of and raising irrelevant and inadmissible mistake of law and mistake of fact defenses, along with potentially requesting erroneous jury instructions related to these claims,” court records show.

The defense wants the court to order “suppressing evidence collected at Bearcreek Farms without a warrant in violation of the Fourth Amendment” in the case that involves charges of Ohio Environmental Protection Agency violations.

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The evidence in question involves information gathered by employees from the city of West Carrollton, according to court records. Rauch is charged with illegal dumping on that city’s land on Hydraulic Road.

Rauch, 64, was indicted in November 2018 on counts of open dumping and burning, and operating a solid waste facility without a license. Rauch and one of his managers, Jennifer M. Copeland, were both charged last year in an illegal dumping case involving his businesses, Bearcreek Farms and SRI Inc.

In December, Rauch and Copeland pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A third company, Rauch Trucking Co. Inc., was indicted earlier this month on a charge of illegal dumping.

Rauch faces five counts and Copeland four counts for alleged crimes committed between January 2016 and late December 2016, court records show.


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