Thomas Campbell, 63 was sentenced for disposing stolen property belonging to the City of Clovis Tuesday. Campbell was ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution to the city no later than July 6th.
Campbell was also placed on three years of probation. If Campbell fails to comply with his requirements of probation or pay full restitution, he will be face up to 3 years in prison.
In October of 2010, a Clovis Jury convicted Campbell for unlawfully removing and transporting seven operable stainless steel milk tanks from an abandoned milk plant belonging to Clovis. During trial it was learned that law enforcement received a tip that led to the discovery.
Upon receiving the necessary information to support the charge, the District Attorney's Office met with Mayor Gayla Brumfield, City Manager Joe Thomas and City Attorney David Richards to explain how several milk tanks had been removed from city property and disposed of by Campbell. The city officials advised prosecutors that they were approached in a public meeting about the purchase of the milk tanks, but negotiations had stalled and no agreement or permission was ever given to remove or sell the city's property.
Public records supported the city officials' recollection of the negotiations. Shortly thereafter, investigators discovered that the stolen milk tanks were relocated to a milk plant in Texas, where they were purchased and installed under the impression that Campbell was the rightful owner of the milk tanks.
As a result, Campbell was found guilty of Disposing Stolen Property over $2500, a third degree felony. District Judge Stephen Quinn presided over the proceedings and Deputy District Attorney Ben Cross prosecuted the case for the State.
"Thanks to a citizen's tip to law enforcement and a diligent jury, we able to solve a theft that had essentially gone undetected, convict the defendant of a felony as a result of his underhanded actions, and obtain an order for $20,000 in restitution payable to the citizens of Clovis. All in all, it seems to be a just resolution for everyone involved," District Attorney Matthew Chandler said.