Butler County Times Gazette
  • Sheriff's Office arrests two men in copper theft investigation

  • A copper theft north of El Dorado led to the arrest of two men Wednesday afternoon: one in connection with the theft and the other on drugs and weapons charges.
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  • A copper theft north of El Dorado led to the arrest of two men Wednesday afternoon: one in connection with the theft and the other on drugs and weapons charges.
    Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet said they were serving a search warrant at 3:07 p.m. Wednesday 6th and Waco in El Dorado at the residence of Michael L. Lee, who owned the home in that trailer park.
    The warrant was the result of an investigation into the theft of about 2,000 feet of copper wire stolen Monday in an oil field north of town that was used to provide electricity to oil field equipment.
    "Through the initial report and the evidence we collected, we established a suspect," Herzet said.
    When they executed the search warrant they arrested James H. Horton on felony theft of wire, which he sold at a recycling company in Wichita, as well as criminal damage to property and criminal trespassing.
    "After we executed the warrant we found methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia in the home, so we wrote another search warrant," Herzet said.
    With that warrant they collected the drugs, paraphernalia and fire arms.
    Lee was arrested on charges of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana after a prior conviction and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
    Two other people who were in the home were questioned and released.
    Herzet said there was $1,000 in electrical loss at the oil field.
    "We're having a lot of copper thefts again," Herzet said. "It's that time of year."
    He said they are doing their best to stay on top of the incidents and make arrests, but he encouraged the public to stay involved.
    "Any suspicious activity can lead us to burglars, people out trying to buy or sell drugs," he said. "If it just doesn't look right in your neighborhood, call 911."
    The El Dorado Police Department assisted.

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