09/05/08 — Five charged in Duplin copper theft

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Five charged in Duplin copper theft

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Published in News on September 5, 2008 1:38 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Five Duplin County residents have been charged with a break-in and theft of copper wiring at a Faison business, Duplin County Sheriff Blake Wallace said Wednesday.

And in an unrelated incident, two persons were arrested and a quantity of crystal methamphetamine was seized at a traffic stop near Mount Olive, Wallace said.

Wallace said the total value of the wiring and damage to the business, Tri-M Facilities, a lumber yard at 120 Warren Road, Faison, in the Bowdens community, totaled $300,000, which includes $38,000 for the copper wiring and copper fuses.

A transformer belonging to Progress Energy also was damaged, he said.

The suspects, who were each cited on Aug. 21 for breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, and injury to real property, are as follow:

* Kenneth Lewis Simpson Jr., 22, Sumner Rd., Pink Hill, in Duplin County

* Jeffery Allen Edwards, 25, N. Blizzard Town Rd., Beulaville

* Justin Lee Harrell, 21, Vivivan Miller Lane, Beulaville

* Marvin Ray Davis, 32, 385 Merritt Rd., Rose Hill

* Danielle Marie Hornby, 21, N.C. 41, Wallace

The suspects were placed under $20,000 bonds each at the Duplin County Jail in Kenansville.

Wallace said the arrests came after a State Bureau of Investigation agent stopped a vehicle near Faison and noticed a large quantity of copper wiring inside the vehicle. The agent contacted sheriff's deputies, who made the arrests, Wallace said.

The crystal meth was seized and two persons arrested following a traffic stop by the sheriff's Duplin Interstate Criminal Enforcement (DICE) team with assistance from the Duplin County Narcotics Task Force, Wallace said.

The stop was on a rural road near Mount Olive, near the Tram Road/Woodland Church Road intersection, on Aug. 29, Wallace said.

Charged were Francisco Rangel Sanchez, 31, Batchelor Rd., Wallace, the driver of the vehicle, and the passenger, Jonathan Rainer Williams, 34, Garners Chapel Rd., Mount Olive.

Sanchez was cited for giving fictitious information to a police officer; conspiring to traffic in methamphetamine; driving while license revoked; and driving left of center.

He was jailed under a $700,000 bond.

Wallace said Sanchez, who is an illegal alien, had been wanted for failure to appear in court for probation violation.

Williams was charged with three counts of trafficking in methamphetamine; conspiring to traffick in methamphetamine; maintaining a vehicle, a 2002 Chevrolet truck, for a controlled substance; possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell and deliver; possession of drug paraphernalia; and allowing an unlicensed person to drive.

His bond was $1.5 million.

Deputies seized four grams of crystal methamphetamine with a street value of approximately $12,000.

"This is a significant amount of crystal methamphetamine, and we're glad to get it off the street," Wallace said.

Wallace also announced that three persons cited by deputies in earlier drug arrests had been tried in U.S. District Court in Wilmington and are awaiting sentences.

They are Herbert Linwood Thomas, James Lamont Boney and Jimmy Jerald Brown. Specific addresses were not immediately available.

By Nelson Bland
News-Argus Correspondent