Two Flora men arrested in connection with ground wire thefts

CLAY COUNTY — The Clay County Sheriff’s Office has arrested two Flora men in connection with the recent thefts of ground wires from transmission poles in the Clay City area, one of which resulted in a power outage to approximately 1,600 Wayne-White Electric Cooperative members.

On Friday deputies arrested 36-year-old Ryan M. Staton and 37-year-old Andrew J. Staley for alleged theft over $10,000 and theft under $500.

According to reports, thieves using a truck late last month attempted to pull down the copper ground wire on a pole along a transmission line in Clay County near the Wayne County line.

The wire ultimately bounced back into the transmission lines and instantly knocked out power for more than 1,600 utility customers.

Staton’s bail was set at $75,000 and Staley’s was set at $50,000, both are currently being held in the Clay County Jail.

The sheriff’s office was assisted by the Flora Police Department in the investigation.