Produce provider in jail over stolen goods

After a tip from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Richmond County investigators found a stash of stolen property Monday in the warehouse at Leo's Produce on Fifth Street.

Leo's Produce owner Leo Char­­ette was arrested and charged with four counts of theft by receiving stolen goods, according to Lt. Tony Walden, of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Walden said investigators found a golf cart, a four-wheeler, a car trailer and a personal watercraft that had been stolen from homes in south Augusta and Blythe.

Leo's is under contract to provide produce to the Columbia County School System through the end of this school year. Superintendent Charles Nagle said company executives assured him that the charged against Charette won't affect deliveries.

The Richmond County School System has its produce contract with the U.S. Department of Defense, but Leo's is one of the department's vendors, school spokesman Lou Svehla said. He said that Charette's situation should not affect produce deliveries because the Defense Department, not Leo's, is ultimately responsible for getting produce to the school system.