Three Charged with Conspiracy to Destroy Railroad Communication Lines
February 26, 2010 - Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, today announced the filing of an information charging James R. Mills, Jr., age 43, of Hamilton, Indiana; William R. Mills, age 40, of Richmond, Indiana; and Robert E. Ross, age 42, of Liberty, Indiana, with conspiracy to destroy railroad communication lines. The information alleges that the defendants would cut and steal copper wires along railroad lines in Indiana and Ohio, which wires provided power for the railroad signaling system. The information charges that between January 2006 and January 2008, on approximately 80 occasions, one or more of the defendants stole copper wire totaling 360,000 linear feet of copper wire from railroad right-of-ways, which wire they sold to scrap metal processors.
If convicted, the defendants' sentences will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to each case, including the defendants' prior criminal records, if any, the defendants' roles in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
The investigating agency in this case is the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas A. Karol, who may be reached at the above telephone number.
An information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.