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Prison sentence for theft of copper


A man who has already been deported once may be returned to his native El Salvador again—after he finishes with the 3 years in  prison he got Tuesday in Stafford County.

Dany Hernandez, 27, was sentenced in connection with a Feb. 6 theft of more than $25,000 worth of copper and other items from a construction site in North Stafford.

Deputy Karl Warnick spotted a loaded pickup truck leaving the site that night and stopped it. Five people got out of the stolen truck and ran; Hernandez was the only one who got caught.

Dogs and a helicopter were used in the search that resulted in Hernandez’s arrest. He scuffled with Warnick, and at one point took the deputy’s Taser and tossed it deeper into the woods.

Hernandez pleaded guilty in Stafford Circuit Court to multiple charges  including disarming a law enforcement officer, assault on a police officer, conspiracy, larceny with the intent to sell and destruction of property.

 Judge William H. Ledbetter Jr. on Tuesday sentenced Hernandez to a total of 20 years in prison with 16½ years suspended.

 According to Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Olsen, W.C. Spratt Inc. of Fredericksburg had equipment stored in large containers in the area of Bismark and Rye Creek drives north of the Crucifix on U.S. 1.

 The company had been having problems with thefts, so a security man had asked neighbors to be on the lookout.

A neighbor called the security official after hearing loud noises shortly before 9 p.m., and the official called the Sheriff’s Office.

Warnick stopped the truck in the 3000 block of Jefferson Davis Highway, then followed the fleeing men into the woods.

The deputy eventually caught up with Hernandez, who was lying on the ground as if he were ready to give himself up.

Instead, Olsen said, Hernandez began wrestling with Warnick, flipping the deputy over and taking the Taser before running off again.

Backup arrived a short time later and Hernandez was found hiding in the woods. This time he was taken into custody without incident.

The men who were with Hernandez that night were never identified.

Hernandez told police he didn’t know any of the men. He claimed he had been picked up at a 7–Eleven earlier that evening and thought they were taking him to a job site.

The truck was loaded with copper, generators and various construction equipment. Attorney Alexander Raymond represented Hernandez.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404