Nine are accused of conspiracy to sell stolen copper wire in Northern Kentucky

jkegley@herald-leader.comOctober 11, 2012 

COVINGTON — Seven Kentuckians were among nine people charged in a conspiracy to sell copper wire.

A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted the group, which included four former employees of Duke Energy's regional office in Hamilton County, Ohio. They are charged with conspiracy to transport goods in interstate commerce, transporting stolen goods in interstate commerce, receiving stolen goods and conspiracy to launder money.

According to a news release from the Office of the United States Attorney, the ex-employees conspired with the owner of a Cincinnati recycling facility and others to sell copper wiring belonging to Duke Energy.

The company uses copper wire to deliver electricity to customers in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. According to the indictment, Duke's work crews were supposed to take excess copper wire to Duke's recycling plant.

Instead, they allegedly sold it for cash to metal recycling facilities in Kenton, Campbell and Boone Counties.

The defendants in the case include Duke's former maintenance and construction supervisor Keith Kremer, 45, of California, Ky., and Dennis Johnson, 38, of Cincinnati, who owns a recycling facility in Ohio.

The other defendants are Michael T. Rinehard, 44 and Troy J. Shira, 41, both of Hebron; Kobie K. Baker, 38, of Cincinnati; Frederick L. Buckler, 44, Justin T. Franzen, 22, and Jordan M. Franzaen, 23, all of Alexandria; and Joseph Martin, 46, of California, Ky.

COVINGTON — Seven Kentuckians were among nine people charged in a conspiracy to sell copper wire.

A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted the group, which included four former employees of Duke Energy's regional office in Hamilton County, Ohio. They are charged with conspiracy to transport goods in interstate commerce, transporting stolen goods in interstate commerce, receiving stolen goods and conspiracy to launder money.

According to a news release from the Office of the United States Attorney, the ex-employees conspired with the owner of a Cincinnati recycling facility and others to sell copper wiring belonging to Duke Energy.

The company uses copper wire to deliver electricity to customers in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. According to the indictment, Duke's work crews were supposed to take excess copper wire to Duke's recycling plant.

Instead, they allegedly sold it for cash to metal recycling facilities in Kenton, Campbell and Boone Counties.

The defendants in the case include Duke's former maintenance and construction supervisor Keith Kremer, 45, of California, Ky., and Dennis Johnson, 38, of Cincinnati, who owns a recycling facility in Ohio.

The other defendants are Michael T. Rinehard, 44 and Troy J. Shira, 41, both of Hebron; Kobie K. Baker, 38, of Cincinnati; Frederick L. Buckler, 44, Justin T. Franzen, 22, and Jordan M. Franzaen, 23, all of Alexandria; and Joseph Martin, 46, of California, Ky.

Josh Kegley: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety. Josh Kegley: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

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