Two Bennettsville men convicted in 2008 farm equipment burglarie - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Bennettsville man sentenced in 2008 farm equipment burglaries

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MARLBORO COUNTY, SC (WMBF) Two men have been sentenced following convictions in connection with burglaries occurring in the Pee Dee in 2008.

Daniel David, 49, of Bennettsville was convicted and W.R. Douglas, 57, also of Bennettsville, pleaded guilty following their indictment in February of 2011. Both men were convicted of two counts of Possession of Stolen Goods and Unlawfully Transporting Interstate Commerce, in a case investigated by the FBI and the Marlboro County Sheriff's Office.

US Attorney Bill Nettles said David appeared in a federal court in Florence Friday where he was sentenced to 48 months in prison, three years supervised release, $47,319 in restitution and ordered to pay a money judgment of $52,494.

Another defendant, a Robeson County farmer, was indicted previously but passed away prior to his court appearance, Sheriff Knight said.

David requested a jury trial. After hearing testimony from Douglas and witnesses from North and South Carolina, David was found guilty on all charges.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred on May 31, 2008. Officers with the Marlboro County Sheriff's Office responded to a call on Tyson Avenue in Bennettsville in reference to a reported burglary. Responding officers discovered that an industrial trailer, corn seed, soybean and farm chemicals, valuing more than $50,000 had been stolen.

One off-duty officer recalled seeing a vehicle matching the description of David's in that location the night before when he was working EMS. An interview of David designated him as a person of interest in the case. A call to the media for assistance in cracking the case led to a residence in Maxton, NC where the stolen trailer was recovered, Sheriff Knight said.

The recovered trailer led investigators to a witness that identified the farmer. Investigators then learned that David and Douglas had used a U-Haul to move stolen goods, and were able to discover it was rented from McColl.

Investigators believed their suspects were tied to a larger theft ring due to information found through court orders of phone records. The investigators then contacted the US Attorney's Office and Florence Office of the FBI.

Cooperation from the deceased suspect led investigators to recover several stolen items, including a stolen tractor in Robeson County valued at $37,000. That tractor was stolen from Judge Rob Stanton in 2005. The MCSO Investigators then recovered a tractor valued at $62,000 stolen from a man in Bristow, among others recovered in the area once belonging to Pee Dee residents.

The investigation that lead to the arrest and trial of David, Douglas and the deceased co-defendant was conducted by the FBI and Marlboro County Sheriff's Office with assistance from the Robeson County Sheriff's Office and the Dillon County Sheriff's Office.

Marlboro County Sheriff Knight said, "This has been a lengthy but productive investigation that has resulted in two convictions and nearly $200,000 worth of stolen property recovered. This case is an example of what persistence and determination can accomplish. The North Carolina state line can sometimes hinder investigations but when we got the FBI involved we were able to curtail come of that. Farming is a huge industry in the state and county and the thefts that occurred put these owners in a hard financial position. I would also like to thank the public for the tips and information that we receive daily. These tips continue to help us solve cases."

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