Mark Faulcon Pleads Guilty To Property Destruction At Bentonite Mine
One of two Natrona County men accused of vandalizing a bentonite mine has admitted to his role in the case.
Mark Faulcon 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, Faulcon and Adam Melikian, 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.
As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dismissed five counts of burglary.
There is no agreed upon prison sentence, which means Faulcon could face the maximum of 10 years in prison on each charge at his sentencing hearing, which will take place at a later date.
Restitution is also an issue to be discussed.
Prosecutors did agree that any prison sentence that Faulcon receives, will run concurrent, or at the same time, with any prison sentence he receives in another case, where he is accused of stealing an ATV from the Naval Reserve Oil Field near Midwest, back in December 2015.
Faulcon is scheduled to attend a plea change hearing in that case on Thursday.