Two Sentenced to Prison for Roles in Destruction of Energy Facility

IMPRINTent, IMPRINT Entertainment, YOUR CULTURE HUB, Crime, Crime News, Christopher Priestley, Boone County, Earnest Wriston, Will Thompson, West Virginia State Police, District Judge John T. Copenhaver

Two men were sentenced to prison today for aiding and abetting the destruction of an energy facility, a known mine located across Boone and Lincoln counties. Christopher Priestley, 44, of Boone County, was sentenced to one year in prison while Earnest Wriston, 56, of Ohio,  was sentenced to two years in prison. Both face three years of supervised release after their prison terms.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Priestley, of Seth, and Wriston, of Sidney, Ohio, each admitted to working with others to steal multiple pieces of specialized mining equipment from the known mine in 2019. These thefts forced the mine to shut down for a period of two weeks as the mine was unable to function without the stolen pieces of equipment. The thefts also resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage to the mine.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the West Virginia State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. imposed the sentences. Assistant United States Attorney Kathleen Robeson prosecuted the cases.