Johnstown man facing charges after attempting to sell nearly 1,000 pounds of veteran grave markers

CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa.– A Johnstown man was arrested and is facing charges after allegedly attempting to sell nearly 1,000 pounds of veteran grave markers believed to have been stolen from southwestern Pennsylvania.

Ronald Cichenelli Jr. is being held in Seneca County Jail, and has been charged with criminal possession of stolen property.

Employees at a recycling yard where the items were taken recognized what they were and notified authorities.

On the reverse side of the markers, some were stamped “Cambria County, Edensburg, PA.”

The Cambria County Commissioners issued a statement saying, “These are venerated items meant to pay homage to our county’s veterans. They are paid for by the taxpayers of Cambria County and intended to honor those who have selflessly served us over the generations.”

Under Pennsylvania law, the desecration, theft or sale of venerated objects, such as a veteran’s grave marker, is a second degree misdemeanor.

“I hope this sends a clear message, that when you steal from a veteran’s grave, we will come at you with the full force of the law,” said Pennsylvania State Representative Frank Burns.

Now, Cichenelli Jr. will face charges.