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Bentleyville man returns from Missouri to face charges

| Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, 12:21 a.m.

More than a year after being charged and nine months after being arrested on a fugitive warrant in Missouri, a Bentleyville man is back in Washington County to face charges.

Timothy Rossell, 23, of 721 Main St., was extradited from Franklin County Jail, where he had been held since his April 9 arrest.

Among the charges against Rossell in connection with three separate incidents are theft by unlawful taking (auto theft), fraud and impersonating a public servant.

The complaints, filed by Southwest Regional Police Department, claim that Rossell identified himself as a Pennsylvania state constable in one incident and a Missouri state trooper in another.

Rossell also had been facing charges in Missouri, unrelated to those filed by Southwest Regional Police, Chief John Hartman said.

He was released Sunday night in Missouri and brought back to Pennsylvania by Washington County detectives.

Arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Ethan Ward in night court, Rossell was remanded to the Washington County Correctional Facility on $75,000 bond.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday in the office of Magisterial District Judge Curt Thompson in Bentleyville.

His initial arrest last spring was a result of a combined effort by Southwest Regional police, the U.S. Marshal's Service, and the Washington City, Mo., police department, Hartman said.

On Dec. 15, 2012, Southwest Regional Police charged Rossell with forgery, identity theft, deceptive business practices, theft by deception, unauthorized use of automobiles and impersonating a public servant.

According to police, the victim, Jeffery Paul of Glassport, placed an advertisement on Craigslist to sell his Ford Crown Victoria. Paul told police that Rossell identified himself as John Tobisti, a Pennsylvania state constable, when they met Dec. 15, 2012, at True Value hardware in Bentleyville. Rossell told Paul he needed the vehicle for work. Rossell took possession of the vehicle but never paid for it, police said.

On Dec. 21, 2012, Sara and Douglas Edwards of Bentleyville agreed to sell their 2005 Ford F-250 to Rossell, who identified himself as Timothy Brandhorst. Rossell also allegedly failed to pay for that vehicle. He was charged by Southwest Regional Police with theft by deception, identity theft and fraudulent business practices.

On March 20, 2013, Rossell was charged in connection with a third alleged incident.

Police allege that on Dec. 1, 2012, Levi Mattey of Charleroi agreed to purchase a vehicle from Rossell — identifying himself as Timothy Michael Keller — for $650 plus $150 for fuel. Rossell had identified himself as a Missouri state trooper relocating to Pennsylvania. Mattey told police that he paid for the vehicle but never received it.

Rossell was charged by the Southwest Regional police with forgery, theft by deception and impersonating a public servant.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or