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Justice News

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

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Two Men Sentenced to Prison in Connection with Damage to Energy Facility

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Ricky Sprouse, 53, of Raleigh County, and Stuart Dotson, 55, of Fayette County, were sentenced today to nine months in prison and one year in prison, respectively, for their roles in the destruction of an energy facility, a known mine located across Boone and Lincoln counties.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Sprouse, of Naoma, and Dotson, of Mount Hope, each admitted to working with others to steal multiple pieces of specialized mining equipment from the known mine in 2019. These thefts forced the mine to shut down for a period of two weeks as the mine was unable to function without the stolen pieces of equipment. The thefts also resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage to the mine.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the West Virginia State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Each man pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the destruction of an energy facility. Both face three years of supervised release after their prison terms.

Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. imposed Sprouse’s sentence. Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber imposed Dotson’s sentence.  Assistant United States Attorney Kathleen Robeson prosecuted the cases.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case Nos. 2:21-cr-143, 2:22-cr-45, and 2:21-cr-182.









Updated June 9, 2022