A Natrona County man will be spending time behind bars after admitting to vandalizing a bentonite mine.

Adam Melikian was sentenced to five-to-seven years in prison, and was given a boot camp recommendation, after he 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 2016, 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.

If Melikian completes the boot camp program, the court could call him back for a sentence review.

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