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White Earth man accused of stealing copper from farm irrigation systems, causing extensive damage

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White Earth man accused of stealing copper from farm irrigation systems, causing extensive damage
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

A White Earth man was arrested this morning on suspicion of stealing copper from farm irrigation systems -- seriously damaging them in the process -- in order to sell the copper as scrap metal.

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William Lawrence Butcher Jr. was arrested early Thursday morning by Becker County deputies and White Earth tribal police officers who executed an arrest warrant for theft and sale of a substantial amount of copper.

The arrest followed months of extensive investigation work by Becker County Deputy Dan Skoog and Investigator John Sieling, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.

Butcher is now in jail waiting arraignment on two counts of Theft of Irrigation System Windings. Damage to each system exceeded $5,700.

"I am anticipating more arrests involving these thefts throughout Becker County and the surrounding areas," Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon said in a news release.

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