Anonymous tip leads HCSO to recovery of copper wire

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Oct. 3, 2007 - An anonymous tip Tuesday night resulted in a rural Sulphur Springs resident being taken to jail on felony theft and possession charges.

Staff Photo by Angela Pitts

Hopkins County Sheriff's Office Chief Investigator Andy Chester (right) and Investigator Lewis Tatum look through stolen copper which was recovered Tuesday night with the help of an anonymous tip.

Bradley Keith Miller, 25, remained in the county jail midmorning Wednesday for felony copper theft, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Hopkins County Sheriff’s Sgt. Victor Cosme, Investigators Lewis Tatum and Andy Chester, and deputies Dan Mitchell and Chris Rich responded on FM 71 east after receiving an anonymous call at about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday regarding suspicious activity, possibly copper theft.

When they got to the Birthright location, the officers observed a white sport utility vehicle backed up to a barn. Moving closer, they could clearly see a man with copper wire, which he appeared to be in the process of stripping.

The suspect, identified as Miller, told the officers his employer had given him the copper. Authorities contacted the Wood County employer, who said he did not give the man any copper. Further investigation revealed the copper which was in large and small rolls, some stripped and some bare, some in piles, and had been stolen from a Quitman business, the investigators said.

Miller was taken into custody for copper theft. New legislation which became effective Sept. 1 makes the crime a felony offense, according to Tatum.

Further inspection of the SUV revealed one bag with six smaller, individually packaged bags of green, leafy substance believed to be marijuana. They also found a bottle of Soma pills, which are used as muscle relaxers, in the vehicle. Miller was also charged with the state jail felony offense possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver and Class A misdemeanor possession of a dangerous drug, according to Chester.

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