The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

February 17, 2011

Two stopped with carload of beef jerky

Patrick Buchnowski

SOMERSET — Need gas money? Sell beef jerky.

That’s what two West Virginia men attempted to do when their car was stopped on Wednesday and police found a back seat full of allegedly stolen jerky.

Borough police said they stopped John Edward Barry, 35, because the license plate of his red 1992 Chevrolet Cavalier was dangling.

Barry and a passenger, 37-year-old Michael Allen Graham, allegedly told police that they were on their way to Westmoreland County, where a relative’s car had broken down.

It was then that “a large amount of boxed and packaged beef jerky and Car Kraft socket sets were observed in plain view on the rear seat,” police said in a court affidavit.

The men, who are cousins living in Milton, W.Va., admitted to stealing the goods from various auto-parts stores and gas stations along the way, police said.

The cousins “attempted to sell the items to various people to cover travel expenses and gas money,” Officer Richard Appel said.

The price of the salted beef was estimated at more than $200.

Both were charged with receiving stolen property. Barry also was charged with driving with a suspended license.

Barry and Graham were arraigned by District Judge Arthur Cook of Somerset and sent to Somerset County Jail after each failed to post $20,000 bond.