Whitesburg KY

Sheriff expects more arrests in stolen grave plaques case

Letcher County Sheriff Danny Webb is expected to appear before the Letcher County Grand Jury later this week to present evidence he has gathered while investigating the theft of bronze grave markers from cemeteries in the Isom and Jeremiah areas.

Webb’s appearance before the grand jury comes about two weeks after a 30-year-old Isom man, Harley Jack Slone, surrendered to authorities and admitted to removing 12 military markers from the graves of veterans and selling them for scrap to Mitchell Wright’s recycling business, also located in Isom.

Webb, who recovered the markers from Wright after receiving a tip from an anonymous caller, told The Mountain Eagle that he expects others to be charged in the case.

Webb also said this week that his department will begin vigorously enforcing a new state law that is intended to stop scrap dealers from paying people immediately for copper and other scrap metals.

Webb said that while some scrap dealers in Letcher County have already been following the new law that requires sellers to leave their address with recycling centers so that payments can sent in the mail, others have not.

Webb said he will visit each scrap dealer doing business in the county to make sure they understand the new law, which is designed to give police a way to find sellers if the material they sold turns out to be stolen.

The new law also requires that recycling center workers review reports on recently stolen scrap metal so that they can alert police to suspicious materials.

Slone, the only suspect arrested so far in the case, is charged with 12 counts of violating graves and 12 counts of receiving stolen property.

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