Five people were indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges of “conspiring to maliciously interfere with communication lines by entering onto cellular tower sites.” According to a court statement, the five entered more than 80 cell tower sites in 21 jurisdictions between April 3, 2018, and August 1, 2018, stealing copper grounding bars and copper wiring and reselling it to metal salvage dealers for cash.
Those indicted were: Christina Weaver, 40, Bradley Quinelle Warren, 32, Taylor D. James, 20, and Haley S. James, 21, all of Collinsville, IL and Wendell Ragsdale, 45, of Springfield, IL.
Defendants Warren and Weaver are also charged with one count of malicious interference with communications lines for their role in stealing copper grounding bars and copper wiring from a cellular telephone tower in Montgomery County, Missouri.
If convicted, the conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine and the malicious interference with communications lines carries a penalty of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges. The Missouri State Highway Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations are investigating this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsay McClure-Hartman is handling the case for the United States Attorney’s Office.
September 16, 2019
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