Adam Melikian Pleads Not Guilty In Mine Vandalism Case
One of two Natrona County men accused of vandalizing a bentonite mine was in court to answer to charges against him in that case.
Adam Melikian has pleaded not guilty to five counts of burglary, one count of conspiracy to commit burglary, one count of property destruction and one count of conspiracy to commit property destruction.
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 denied participating and that he had been dropped off at his apartment by Faulcon.
Melikian is free on $10,000 bond awaiting trial and could face up to 10 years in prison on each count if convicted.
Faulcon is also facing charges connected to this case, and is awaiting trial.