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SC scrapyard busted for copper buys: police

Keywords: Tags  copper theft, copper, scrapyards, scrap, metals theft, John Long, Carl Jackson Jennings, Linda Lee Richey Greenwood

NEW YORK — South Carolina recycler Highway 34 Recycling has had its license to purchase nonferrous materials suspended after a six-month investigation, according to Sgt. John Long of the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office. The company allegedly violated state law by not requesting permits or identification from sellers.

South Carolina requires anyone wishing to sell nonferrous scrap to present an identification card and state-issued seller’s permit before entering into any transactions. Secondary recyclers must copy and maintain records of those documents for at least two years.

According to Long, the yard’s owners—Carl Jackson Jennings and Linda Lee Richey—knowingly purchased scrap copper without obtaining proper documentation.

"We have had a lot of changes in the law as related to nonferrous metals," Long said. "We feel the obligation to notify our recyclers that these laws have changed and warn them about potential violations. Unfortunately, Jennings and Richey chose to blatantly oppose these laws."

Subsequently, the sheriff’s office obtained arrest warrants for Jennings and Richey and suspended their license for buying nonferrous metals.

Jennings and Richey now face multiple charges of illegally purchasing copper. Both were arrested and released on bond, Long said.

"We’re not asking our recyclers to be the police," he said. "We know that individuals are coming to them trying to sell stolen copper. All we want is for them to maintain proper documentation so we can prosecute the thieves."

As of Jan. 31, Greenwood-based Highway 34 Recycling’s telephone was disconnected. Jennings and Richey couldn’t be reached for comment.

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  • Feb 01, 2013

    I disagree. We own a medium size yard in Florida and the new "Florida" scrap laws have cost us 70% of our copper purchases, 30% of our overall business which includes the remaining items we cannot buy from the public. These new laws have hurt the scrap industry in Florida along with private "honest" individuals that now cannot sell certain items, individuals that have a monthly limited income. We also have spent tens of thousands on computer systems and cameras just to be compliant with the new laws. We do take great pains and losses to stay compliant but I do not support or condone what these guys did. The new scrap laws are making criminals out of the innocent some people cannot afford to upgrade to be complaint nor can they close their doors. What has been accomplished with the new regulations? The same criminals before are still stealing just different items. The only thing the new laws have accomplished is diverting theft not deterring it.

    Feb 01, 2013

    I think this is a good thing. I own a yard in SC and we bust our butt to abide by the rules and have spent a lot of money on software and cameras to do so. I hope this happens more in SC to get rid of the fly by nighters breaking the rules. I don't mind competion but I want them on the same playing field we have to play on. Thanks Neil

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