Man denies aiding in theft of metal

BENNINGTON — A Pownal man has denied a charge in connection with the sale of scrap metal that police said was stolen from the former Green Mountain Race Track.

Another Pownal man denied charges last month in connection with multiple break-ins spanning more than a year. Police said Ronald Lee George Jr., 27, broke into and took items from the former race track grandstand on Route 7, as well as Winchester's Store and a nearby residence. In that case, police said George brought 1,600 pounds of metal to George Apkin's & Sons scrap yard in North Adams, Mass., netting $2,800, in February and March.

Last week, James E. Haley, 55, pleaded not guilty in Bennington criminal court to a felony count of aiding in the commission of grand larceny.

Judge John W. Valente released him with conditions.

According to a court affidavit by Vermont State Police, in January and February, Haley turned in about 2,500 pounds of copper into the same scrap yard, receiving $4,600. Haley, in an April 2 interview with police, said he didn't keep the money, but gave the check to George who would "'throw him a few bucks' for helping." Haley denied entering the track building to remove any items. He told police that George claimed the metal came from a "clean out job in New York" and that "he would not have helped [George] with this if he knew the copper was stolen."

Haley is due back in court June 18.

George pleaded not guilty in the same court April 2 to felony burglary into an occupied dwelling, burglary (three counts), and selling stolen property. George is due back June 1.


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