WILLIAMSON - The citizens of Mingo County have been stepping up to the plate as of lately, saying enough is enough, and reporting suspicions of crimes to law enforcement officers.
Several of these tips have led to recent arrests for a variety of criminal offenses, such as the case involving receiving and transferring stolen property and receiving money under false pretenses that was heard in magistrate court on Friday.
According to information relayed to the Daily News by Mingo County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) Sgt. Joe Smith and Cpl. Phillip Muncy, a tip was called into their office on Wednesday with information pertaining to the whereabouts of three commercial size generators that were reported as stolen from a Veteran’s Administration (VA) Hospital in Chillicothe, Ohio, on June 5.
“We were told that Alvis Porter, who owns a business in Logan County, had purchased three commercial generators from Jimmy Clark, who lives at Conley Branch near Delbarton,” said Smith. “These generators had been reported stolen from a hospital in Ohio, and there were extensive investigations by state and federal law enforcement officials underway to locate them and make an arrest.”
The officers spoke with Porter and traveled to the location in Logan County where the alleged stolen property was located, and verified by serial numbers and other means of identification that these generators were in fact, those missing from Ohio.
“Mr. Porter stated to us that he went to Conley Branch to look at the generators, and was told by Mr. Clark that he had purchased them at a FEMA auction in Missouri,” said Muncy. “At that time, Mr. Porter wrote the defendant a check in the amount of $19,000 and was provided a bill of sale for their purchase, bearing the signature of Jimmy Clark.”
Sgt. Smith remarked that generators like these that were stolen are far from cheap; stating that the lowest price he located on the largest of the three for was well over $90,000 on the internet. The owners of the generators had listed in the police report that the accumulative total of the three units exceeded $160,000.
“We’re talking a lot of money here,” said Smith. “The two smaller units were brought into the county on a rollback, and the largest one is as big as a pull trailer that would be used to haul a vehicle or other equipment.”
Further investigation into the theft revealed that Todd Springer, who is a Federal Agent in Ohio, had uncovered information that the actual theft allegedly involved Curtis L. Clark III, of Ohio, aka “Big-Un”, who is the nephew of the defendant.
“The defendant told us that he and his nephew trade on stuff all the time,” said Smith. “We believe that since the generators were stolen from Ohio, they probably felt safer bringing them into West Virginia, waiting for a little while until the search for them wasn’t fresh in everyone’s minds, and then trying to sell them.
“It’s hard to hide items of this size, especially since they’re so valuable, but apparently they thought it could be accomplished.
“Thanks to the tip we received, the stolen generators were recovered and warrants were issued for those involved.”
Clark was arraigned before Mingo Magistrate Dallas Toler and was released from custody after posting bail in the amount of $20,000. The investigation concerning this theft remains open, and additional information will be released as it becomes available.