MINERAL COUNTY- The suspect involved in a theft that occurred late last year at the Last Chance Mine has been formally charged with several felony charges and is facing a possible 12-year sentence. According to owner Jack Morris, the suspect was in court Friday, Sept. 11 and was preliminarily charged with a class four burglary, class 6 burglary, felony theft and trespassing.
“I really didn’t want things to end this way, but I always said that if the person didn’t willingly come forward and fess up to the crime that I would use the full extent of the law. It is a really sad deal. At first, they were looking at misdemeanors but because I was able to provide video footage and other evidence, this is going to go much further than that.”
Morris specifically asked that the individual’s name be kept out of print in order to show some respect to the suspect. “We live in a small town. Everyone knows who did it and I don’t need to add to it by pointing anymore fingers. This is a hard thing for me and the mine.”
Morris did state that the suspect was a previous employee of the mine and has ties with his family. “We will never be able to recover the specimens that were taken and that is the most tragic of all. That geode was a priceless artifact that had history and played a key role in our tours at the mine. We will never be able to have that again.”
Morris stated that the next hearing will take place on Oct. 9.