Second Man Arrested In Mine Vandalism Case
The Natrona County Sheriff's Office arrested a second man for his role in causing more than $1 million damage at a mine west of Casper earlier this month, sheriff's spokesman Lt. Mike Steinberg said Tuesday.
Adam Melikian, 20 was arrested Saturday and charged with property destruction, burglary and conspiracy, according to court records.
Melikian appeared before Natrona County Circuit Court Judge Michael Huber on Tuesday to hear the eight felony counts: property destruction, conspiracy to commit property destruction, five counts of burglary, and conspiracy to commit burglary.
If convicted, each count is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.
Assistant District Attorney recommended a bond of $25,000 because of the amount of property destroyed.
Melikian asked Huber to reduce the bond.
Huber reduced it to $10,000 in part because Melikian had no criminal history. Melikian will have a preliminary hearing within a few weeks during which a judge will determine whether his case should be bound over for trial in state district court.
The other co-defendant, Mark Faulcon, appeared in circuit court on Friday and heard eight felony counts against him including property defacing and damage, and burglarizing buildings and vehicles.
Faulcon, 20, also was charged in a separate burglary for stealing an ATV from a shed at the East Teapot Dome Oil Field north of Casper in December.
Judge Steven Brown set Faulcon's bond at $50,000, in part because he already had a criminal history.
The case began when sheriff's deputies responded to a call at a bentonite mine on Gas Hills Road near Poison Spider Road, about 18 miles south of Waltman on the morning of Jan. 4.
They saw what the sheriff's affidavit called "an epic amount of destroyed property" including a bulldozer parked on top of a large metal shipping container. There was damage to a motor home, several trailers, a semi-truck, a Ford F-250 pickup, a portable restroom, and tools and work equipment. The the cab of the semi-truck was removed by an excavator and then crushed.
Employees who arrived before law enforcement said the excavator's engine was still warm, indicating that the destruction happened recently.
On Jan. 14, a female minor told investigators she was with Faulcon and another unidentified male when the damage was done.
When interviewed, Faulcon admitted to what he did with the other male, and said the minor had nothing to do with the incident.