Mark Faulcon, Adam Melikian To Face Trial For Mine Vandalism
Two men charged with multiple counts of vandalizing a bentonite mine earlier this month will face trial.
Mark Faulcon and Adam Melikian, both 20, on Thursday waived their preliminary hearings on multiple counts of property destruction, conspiracy to commit property destruction, burglary, and conspiracy to commit burglary.
If convicted, each count is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
Melikian's bond had been set at $10,000 in part because he had no criminal history.
However, Faulcon’s bond had been set at $50,000, in part because of his criminal history.
Thursday, Natrona County Circuit Court Judge Brian Christensen changed Faulcon's bond to $30,000 on these charges, and set the same amount for an alleged burglary of a shed and the theft of an all terrain vehicle near Midwest in early December.
The vandalism case began Jan. 4 when Natrona County Sheriff’s 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.
Investigators learned of the suspects from the parents of a girl who had been with the two men during the vandalism.
Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Dan Itzen said the damage is estimated to be between $300,000 and $400,000, which is a downward revision from an earlier $1 million estimate.