Natchitoches business operator arrested for buying stolen copper - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Natchitoches business operator arrested for buying stolen copper

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NATCHITOCHES, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - A joint investigation by the DeSoto and Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Offices has led to the arrest of a Natchitoches metal recycling business owner.

A joint investigation by the DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office and Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office in connection with over $200,000 dollars worth of stolen copper 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.

DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Detectives arrested several people in connection with the copper thefts.

Detectives learned during the investigation, that most of the stolen copper had been transported to and sold to, a metal recycling business in the 1200 block of Texas Street in Natchitoches.

According to law enforcement, the transactions in Natchitoches amounted to more than 7000 pounds of copper paid for in cash by the business.

Detectives also learned after the stolen copper was sold in Natchitoches, it was then allegedly transported to and sold to a Shreveport metal recycling business for $1.85 cents a pound almost doubling the initial purchases according to Chief Investigator Greg Dunn.

As a result of the investigation, NPSO Detectives arrested :

James E.  Strickland Jr., 66, Natchitoches, booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center on January 29th, charged with 1-count of Violation of the Louisiana Scrap Metal Recyclers Law.

Strickland has been released on bond pending his court appearance.

Caddo Parish authorities are also involved in the continuing investigation.

According to NPSO, on Monday, February 3rd, NPSO Detectives conducted a compliance check of a metal recycling business in the 1400 block of Texas Street, in Natchitoches.

During the inspection, detectives discovered several violations of the La. Scrap Metal Recyclers Law.

Detectives also learned the business operator, was allegedly paying  for purchased copper from individuals in cash.

Joel Brandon Taylor, 36,Natchitoches, was cited for 1-count of Violation of the Louisiana Scrap Metal Recyclers Law.

Taylor has been released on a summons to appear in court.

In both cases, Strickland and Taylor admitted they were paying customers cash for copper.

NPSO Detectives remind scrap dealers and metal recycling services of the following state law:

LA.RS37:1973 Louisiana Scrap Metal Recyclers Law

"An operator shall not enter into any cash transactions in payment for the purchase of copper.  Payment of copper shall be made in the form of a check made payable to the seller of the metal and mailed to the address recorded on the photo identification of the seller no earlier than five business days after the date of the transaction.

Every operator shall be required to obtain a photograph of all scrap metal purchased.  The quality of the photograph shall be sufficient to readily identify each type of scrap metal depicted.   The operator shall obtain multiple photographs if necessary to properly record the scrap metal purchased.  Each photograph shall be cross-referenced with the ledger entry required by the law and shall be reserved for a period of at least one year.   Photographs shall be made available to law enforcement within twenty-four hours after request."

Detectives said more compliance checks are planned in the future.

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