A joint investigation by the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office and Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office in connection with more than $200,000 dollars worth of stolen cooper from Dolet Mines in DeSoto Parish has led to the arrests of two Natchitoches metal recycling business owners according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones Jr.
Arrested were: James E. Strickland Jr., 66 of the 1200 block of Texas Street, Natchitoches, La.; and Joel Brandon Taylor, 36 of the 1400 block of Texas Street, Natchitoches, La. was issued a citation and a summons.
During the investigation, detectives learned most the stolen copper was transported and sold to a metal recycling business in the 1200 block of Texas Street in Natchitoches. The transactions in Natchitoches amounted to more than 7,000 pounds of copper, paid for in cash by the business.
Detectives also learned after the copper was sold in Natchitoches, it allegedly was transported and sold to a Shreveport metal recycling business for $1.85 cents per pound, almost doubling the initial purchases according to Greg Dunn, chief investigator Greg Dunn.
Strickland’s arrest was as a result of this investigation. He was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center on Jan. 29, charged with one count of Violation of the Louisiana Scrap Metal Recyclers Law. He was released on bond pending his court appearance.
Monday, NPSO detectives conducted a compliance check of a metal recycling business in the 1400 block of Texas Street, in Natchitoches and discovered several violations of the Louisiana Scrap Metal Recyclers Law. They also learned the business operator, was allegedly paying for purchased copper from individuals in cash.
Taylor was cited for 1-count of Violation of the Louisiana Scrap Metal Recyclers Law. He was released on a summons to appear in court.
In both cases, Strickland and Taylor admitted they were paying customers cash for copper.
In addition, DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Detectives arrested several people in connection with the cooper thefts. Caddo Parish authorities are also involved in the continuing investigation.
Detectives advise that more compliance checks are planned in the future.
Involved in the investigation and arrests were: Desoto Parish Sheriff’s Detectives, along with NPSO Detectives Darrel Winder, Tim Key and Reginald Turner.