Copper Thief Suspect Claims He Was a Federal Agent…Among Other Things


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Last Thursday in Rowan County, NC, sheriff’s deputies encountered a man at a cell tower site who claimed that he owned the tower and was in the process of removing “dead wire” from the facility and placing it in his pickup truck. According to WBTV, the doubting lawmen contacted T-Mobile, who they had on record as the owner of the site, and found that the carrier had not scheduled any work on the tower. T-Mobile did confirm that the site, located on Goodnight Road near Highway 150, suffered a “sudden outage” of service that morning and the man was obviously an unauthorized visitor.

When the deputies asked Douglas Corbett Lee, 43, of Fayetteville, NC, for identification, the suspect produced a folder from his truck that contained photocopies of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Authorities said the suspect claimed he was a federal agent working for the Postmaster General and acting under “nautical and marine law.” Lee told authorities the work of the Postmaster General was authorized by John Hancock and Benjamin Franklin. A future search of the pickup truck turned up some marijuana and a smoking pipe, according to the deputies report.

The arrest report charged Lee with two counts of felony larceny, first degree trespassing, one count of marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia, one count of misdemeanor injury to personal property…and impersonation of a law enforcement officer. WBTV reported Lee’s bond was set at $15,000.

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