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Six Accused of Stealing Miles of Copper Wiring

Six people are behind bars following a two-month long investigation by a Boone County Sheriff's Office task force that focused on widespread thefts of copper wire from Duke Energy utility poles and then sold at recycling centers.

The case was presented to a Boone County Grand Jury last week which resulted in six local people receiving arrest warrants.

The suspects are Justin Matthews, 23, of Covington; Casey Jones, 27, of Covington; Derek New, 25, of Dayton; Robert Perkins, 24, of Elsmere; Tiffanee Spivey, 24, of Independence; and Rachel Merkel, 23, of Florence. They are all charged with engaging in organized crime, theft by unlawful taking (more than $10,000), and first degree criminal mischief.

Perkins, Spivey, Jones, and Merkel were placed in the Boone County Detention Center, while Matthews is in the Hamilton County (OH) jail, and New had not yet been picked up as of Wednesday afternoon.

The Boone County Sheriff's Office said that the six are responsible for stealing miles of copper line, using tree pruners to cut it down throughout Northern Kentucky and southwest Ohio, and then selling it to recycling centers in Cincinnati, Arlington Heights, and Newport.

The recycling centers cooperated fully with the investigators, the sheriff's office said.

From the Boone County Sheriff's Office