PARKERSBURG -Three Wood County men have been charged with the Oct. 30 break-in at the West Virginia State Police barracks in Harrisville.
John M. Richards, 48; David C. Wine, 33; and William W. Estep II, 25, were arrested in Parkersburg Thursday by troopers from the West Virginia State Police Ritchie and Wood County detachments, the Parkersburg Narcotics Taskforce and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
Officers, working from a tip, executed a search warrant in Parkersburg, Ritchie County Prosecutor Judi McCullough said.
John M. Richards
"By the time they were finished, they had a complete confession from one of the individuals, implicating himself and two other people," McCullough said.
Trooper J.L. Brewer with the Ritchie detachment obtained a confession from Estep, according to the criminal complaint in Wood County Magistrate Court.
"Mr. Estep provided information in his confession that would only be known by the person(s) committing this crime," the complaint states.
At the break-in, investigators collected a number of prints. In addition, McCullough said there were shoe prints in the detachment with a distinctive pattern.
"One of the individuals was wearing a pair of shoes that appear to be a perfect match," she said.
According to the complaint, Estep said he and Wine traveled to Harrisville with Richards where they parked near the detachment.
Estep and Wine exited the vehicle and walked to the detachment. According to the complaint, Estep told Brewer that Wine pulled the electric meter and pried open a rear window. The two men entered the barracks, located the evidence room and broke into it.
The two removed evidence from the room, putting it into two bags. The complaint does not detail the items taken from the barracks or the value of the property.
McCullough had previously said 31 pieces of evidence were taken.
"Mr. Estep stated they notified Mr. Richards by two-way radio to come and pick them up with the stolen evidence," the complaint states. The trio then left the area.
In addition to the break-in at the barracks, the three also were charged with the October break-in of the Bailey Brothers Store in Smithville.
"The investigation also solved another (breaking and entering) in Ritchie County," McCullough said.
The complaint states the three men broke into the store and removed a large amount of cigarettes, loose change and a firearm. The items had a value of $3,400, according to the complaint.
The arrest warrants were signed Thursday morning by Ritchie County Magistrate David Haugh. The three were arraigned in Wood County Thursday afternoon.
Richards is charged with one count of breaking and entering, two counts of conspiracy to commit a felony and one count of accessory before the fact.
Wine and Estep are each charged with two counts of breaking and entering, two counts of conspiracy to commit a felony and one count of grand larceny.
The three face 1-15 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
Magistrate Robin Waters set bond at $100,000 for each man. They were transferred to the North Central Regional Jail.
McCullough said she was not surprised by the break in the cases.
"We have a great group of officers in Ritchie County, and Brewer is relentless. It was just a matter of time."