Adam Melikian Of Natrona County Pleads Guilty In Mine Vandalism Case
A Natrona County man has admitted to vandalizing a bentonite mine.
Adam Melikian has pleaded guilty to one count of property destruction, one count of conspiracy to commit property destruction, and one count of conspiracy to commit burglary.
Investigators with the Natrona County Sheriff's Office say in early January, deputies responded to a call about damage at a bentonite mine, about 18 miles south of Waltman, near Gas Hills and Poison Spider Roads.
There they found, according to an affidavit, “epic damage.”
Deputies saw a bulldozer parked on top of a large metal shipping container and epic amount of destroyed property including: a motor home, several trailers, a semi-truck, a pickup, a portable restroom, and numerous tools and work equipment.
The semi-truck had the cab portion removed by an excavator and then crushed completely.
Damage was estimated to be between $300,000 and $400,000.
Investigators learned of the suspects, Melikian and Mark Faulcon, from the parents of a girl who had been with the two men during the incident, but did not participate.
When interviewed, Faulcon admitted that he and Melikian were responsible, however Melikian initially denied participating and that he had been dropped off at his apartment by Faulcon.
As part of a plea deal, Natrona County prosecutors agreed that whatever sentence Melikian receives on each charge, will run concurrent with each other, or at the same time, and dismissed five counts of burglary.
There is no agreed upon prison time, so Melikian could receive the maximum of 10 years in prison on each charge, when he is sentenced at a later date.