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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Iowa

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Council Bluffs Man Sentenced On Interstate Copper Theft Charges

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA – On January 22, 2013, Jonathan Dale Campbell, age 32, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, was sentenced in United States District Court in Council Bluffs on the charge of conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property regarding the theft of copper from center-pivot irrigation systems, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt. Chief United States District Court Judge James E. Gritzner sentenced Campbell to 37 months in prison, and also ordered Campbell to serve 3 years of supervised release following his imprisonment. The Court ordered that the 37 months federal sentence of imprisonment be served consecutively to, that is, in addition to, State of Iowa sentences currently being served by Campbell. (Campbell is currently serving terms of imprisonment in Iowa for theft and burglary charges unrelated to the federal interstate transportation of stolen property case.) The Court also ordered Campbell to pay restitution in the amount of $174,047.97 to identified victims of the theft scheme in which Campbell was involved, and to pay a $100.00 special assessment for the Crime Victim Fund. Campbell remains in the custody of the United States Marshal pending designation of the Federal Bureau of Prisons facility where he will serve his federal sentence, or return to the custody of the State of Iowa to complete serving sentences from Mills and Pottawattamie, Iowa, counties, which he was serving when taken into federal custody on the interstate theft charges.

Campbell was sentenced upon his plea of guilty to conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property. The charges arose from a prolonged series of thefts of copper from control cables for center-pivot irrigation systems. The cable was stolen from farming operations stretching from near Sioux City, Iowa, to near St. Joseph, Missouri, with a concentration of the thefts in Harrison and Monona counties in Iowa. Campbell was a part of a conspiracy involving three or more people, which operated from late in 2009, until the summer of 2010. The sentences imposed in this case were in part based on co-conspirators receiving an estimated $70,000.00, to $120,000.00.00, from a salvage yard in Omaha, Nebraska, for the copper cable. Records established that persons involved in this conspiracy delivered copper from the center-pivot irrigation system control cables to the salvage yard in Omaha, Nebraska, on at least 73 occasions. The sentences were also based in part on the number of victims identified in the case, with approximately 28 farming entities and a number of insurance companies being identified as victims in Harrison and Monona counties.

Previously convicted in this conspiracy were Charles Douglas Nichols, age 35, and Joseph Daniel Falknor, age 30, both of Council Bluffs, Iowa. Nichols was sentenced to 31 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. Falknor was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day of imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. Nichols and Falknor were also ordered to pay restitution and to pay an assessment for the Crime Victim Fund.

This investigation was conducted by the Harrison County, Iowa, Sheriff’s Department, the Monona County, Iowa, Sheriff’s Department, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

(Download Press Release )

Updated March 12, 2015