Four men are accused of stealing metal in storm-damaged Laurel County

jwarren@herald-leader.comMarch 7, 2012 

Kentucky State Police arrested four men Wednesday on charges of stealing metal storm debris in a restricted area of East Bernstadt in Laurel County.

Troopers said that the four were seen taking tin and aluminum siding, which they apparently intended to sell for scrap.

According to officers, the four men were allowed into the restricted area at East Bernstadt to assist with cleanup from last week's storms, and they had been directed to place debris by the edge of the roadway.

Instead, Trooper Ryan Loudermilk observed them carrying the metal to a pickup truck parked nearby.

The driver of the truck, Rodger D. Smith, 22, of McKee, admitted to Loudermilk that he was going to sell the metal for scrap, police said.

Smith and his three companions were arrested on charges including theft by unlawful taking, third-degree criminal trespass, possessing a controlled substance in an improper container, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of marijuana.

Troopers identified the other three men as Roger Smith, 51, of Big Creek; Ricky Trenton, 20, of Manchester; and James Arnett, 42, of Lexington.

They were lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center.

Reach Jim Warren at (859) 231-3255 or 1-800-950-6397 Ext. 3255.

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