7th man sentenced in theft of copper from substations

Associated Press

CLEVELAND

The last of seven men accused of conspiring to steal copper from two dozen electrical substations in Northeast Ohio has been sentenced to three years in prison.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cleveland says 33-year-old Michael Butts of Brooklyn, Ohio, and the other defendants were ordered to pay First Energy Corp. more than $242,000 in restitution for repairs.

A message was left late Thursday for his attorney.

Prosecutors say the thefts last year created a risk of blackouts and threatened utility workers’ safety. Authorities say the copper was sold to scrap yards for more than $15,000.

The defendants pleaded guilty to conspiring to damage energy facilities.

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