NEWTON FALLS - When agents with the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation arrived Friday at murder-suicide suspect Rob Brazzon's Newton Drive home, it wasn't the first time the state agency had been there.
State agents and Newton Falls police had raided Brazzon's 604 Newton Drive home more than 13 years ago and seized at that time 47 guns, 100,000 rounds of ammunition and homemade bombs. That was after an 18-month investigation that determined he sold prescription painkillers to confidential informants.
Police also seized 7,400 pills and $27,000 in cash. Some of the guns were stolen.
The result: a 27-count indictment by a Trumbull County grand jury, including two counts of trafficking in drugs, two counts of receiving stolen firearms, 13 counts of deception to obtain dangerous drugs, nine counts of possessing drugs and having weapons despite being disallowed because of his past criminal record.
Court records, however, indicated Common Pleas Judge John Stuard sentenced Brazzon to five years of probation - and eventually knocked it down to two. He also ordered that guns and ammunition be returned after Brazzon pleaded guilty.
The majority of the guns and more than half of the money were eventually returned to Brazzon and his family after the case, court records said.
Benefit fund for victims of the attack: Falls Four Family Fund at any Huntington Bank location
Fundraiser, 6 p.m. today at Newton Falls Community Center
Investigators said that Brazzon, 55, killed his live-in girlfriend Tracey Engler, 38, on Friday with two gunshots to the head and face, then went to this ex-brother-in-law's 72 Trumbull Ave. home a block away and killed Rikki Cogley Sr., his wife Kathy Cogley and her son, 15-year-old Everett Greathouse.
The Cogleys and Greathouse, a freshman at Newton Falls High School, were killed by multiple gunshot wounds in Friday's rampage. The 911 call, in which a caller in the home left the phone on for dispatchers, picked up sounds of 10 gunshots, yelling and people pleading for their lives. A child, likely 5-year-old Rikki Cogley Jr., cries throughout the entire recording.
Police are still trying to determine a motive for the killings. Police Chief John Kuivila said no one else will be charged in the incident.
Records show Brazzon had been investigated by state and local police for selling the painkiller Vicodin.
Reports said Newton Falls police and BCI raided the home March 30, 1999. They found guns, drugs and cash and called in the Youngstown Bomb Squad to help remove homemade explosives eventually detonated on Carson-Salt Springs Road.
Brazzon was initially indicted on two counts of drug trafficking and one count of receiving a stolen gun. The indictment alleges he sold Vicodin to a confidential informant working with police on March 3 and 24 of that year.
Current Newton Falls Municipal Court Judge Philip Vigorito, a defense attorney at the time, represented Brazzon.
They eventually agreed with prosecutors to plead to drug trafficking, deception to obtain dangerous drugs, two counts of felony drug possession and five counts of misdemeanor drug possession.
Stuard sentenced Brazzon to five years of probation and released him after he paid a $2,500 fine, completed the New Start drug treatment program and passed all drug tests.
Four months later, Brazzon's brother, Bruce and his son, Rob Brazzon Jr., filed a motion asking a judge to order police to release 45 guns, 100,000 rounds of ammunition, scopes and other gun accessories to them.
The filing said the guns being stored in Rob Brazzon's home actually belonged to his son and brother. Bruce Brazzon, the filing said, kept the guns at his mother's home in order to deter gun thieves who previously stole from him. He moved the guns to Rob Brazzon's house because his mother's house was being remodeled, the filing said.
Stuard later ordered that $14,732, the guns and ammunition be returned to Bruce Brazzon and Rob Brazzon Jr.
A filing by prosecutors in the case also hinted to a criminal history, possibly outside Trumbull County. The filing indicates Brazzon's "record" includes sexual battery and gross sexual imposition in 1987, a domestic violence in 1984 and discharging a weapon in a state park and carrying a concealed weapon in 1978.
Tribune Chronicle reporter Christopher Bobby contributed to this report.