FDLE arrests two for stealing telephone wire

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Unedited news release from FDLE Office of Public Information

MARIANNA, Fla. – Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested Eddie Earnest, 51, and Encarnacion Burch, 39, both of Marianna, for theft of copper from a utility or communications service provider.  The case was investigated by FDLE and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.  Holmes County Sheriff’s Office and Marianna Police Department also assisted. 

The investigation shows Earnest and Burch stole copper telephone communication wire strung between telephone poles, causing outages for numerous customers in Jackson, Holmes and Walton counties. After stealing the wire, the suspects removed the copper, selling it to a second-hand metal dealer. 

Known damages are around $5,000, but that number is expected to increase.  If you have additional information or believe you were a victim, please contact FDLE at (850) 595-2100. 

Agents arrested Earnest and Burch yesterday afternoon, at Earnest’s residence on Mellow Trail in Marianna.  The pair was booked into the Jackson County Jail.  The Office of the State Attorney, 14th Judicial Circuit, will prosecute the case.

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