A man from the Omar area of Logan County was recently arrested in connection to an alleged conspiracy dating back to April 2012 that reportedly involved the theft of approximately $9,000 worth of copper from two separate locations.
The Aug. 10 arrest of Billy Ray Vinson, 41, of Omar, W.Va., was based on a warrant issued in Logan County Magistrate Court on June 8, 2012.
On April 25, 2012, Senior Trooper J.K. Harris with the West Virginia State Police responded to a call at the Coal Mac Inc. preparation plant on 22 Mine Road in Holden on a complaint of stolen copper cable. Around 1,000 feet of mining cable had reportedly been stolen.
The complainant was able to provide Harris with video surveillance footage reportedly showing a vehicle later tied to the conspiracy entering the Coal Mac facility just prior to the theft. Harris reports his investigation led him to S&S Recycling in Delbarton, W.Va. where a vehicle reported to match the one allegedly used in the Coal Mac theft had been used to drop off copper. Harris reports his investigation later revealed the owner of that vehicle was allegedly assisted in the copper thefts by Vinson and other suspects.
In conjunction to the Coal Mac theft, Vinson and his coconspirators also allegedly stole copper from S&S Recycling only to sell it back to S&S. Harris was reportedly able to obtain a statement from Vinson admitting to the Coal Mac and S&S Recycling thefts. Harris was reportedly able to collect documentation from S&S Recycling revealing the accused has turned in stolen copper.
Harris also found vehicles associated with the alleged conspiracy have been sighted at other mining installations throughout the area as the accused were attempting to steal copper.
In all, S&S Recycling reports to have lost over $4,000 in property and Coal Mac Inc. reports they have lost around $5,000 in property.
Vinson is charged with felony counts of conspiracy and grand larceny, and, if he is found guilty on both counts, he could be forced to spend between two and 15 years in a state correctional facility and pay up to $12,500 in fines. Bond was set to $2,000.
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Criminal complaints are public information. Charges listed in a complaint are merely accusations; defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Owen Wells is reporter for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1729 or by email at [email protected]