Three men accused of cell tower break-ins arrested

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Three men have been accused of seven break-ins at cell tower sites in West Virginia that authorities said caused phone outages for anyone in the area with an emergency.

Johnnie Boggess III, 30; James Canfield, 22; and Jeremy Powers, 28, were arrested recently in the investigation, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Wednesday.

The break-ins happened between August 2019 and Jan. 14, according to the release. Deputies received a break in the case when they found stolen cabling after responding to another incident. The sheriff’s office said this led to additional interviews and evidence.

The damages cost thousands of dollars in damage for the cell phone companies that have been affected, news outlets reported.

“We do not have a total amount for labor and cost of materials, but we know it will exceed $100,000,” Kanawha County Sheriff Mike Rutherford said.

There are other suspects that have cut phone and internet lines in the area but haven’t been caught, according to the sheriff’s office. Authorities asked anyone with information to contact the sheriff’s office.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at