Abingdon, Virginia – Three plead guilty in theft ring trial

Location: Abingdon, Virginia.
Value of Stolen Items: more than $400,000

Three men pleaded guilty in federal court to taking part in a theft ring that traded stolen equipment for cash and drugs, the Bristol (Virginia) Herald Courier said.

Bobby Allen Houser, 43, William Deel, Jr., 54, and Steven Andrew Widener, 42, made up a ring that affected more than 25 people and stole more than $400,000 in equipment.

The three men are linked to a November 2008 fire at an Abingdon, Virginia, Steel-Fab Manufacturing building.

The Courier said Houser and Deel each plead guilty to one count of using fire to destroy a building, conspiracy to distribute and possess controlled substances and conspiracy to transport stolen motor vehicles across state lines.

Widener plead guilty to one count using fire to destroy a building, one count of conspiracy to transport stolen vehicles across state lines and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, the Courier said.