COMFORT - A trio of West Virginia State Troopers acted on a tip and stopped an attempt to sell stolen coal mine property on Aug. 22.

Ricky Allen Sprouse, 51, was charged with felony conspiracy to commit a felony in the incident. According to a report prepared by Trooper C.M Riggleman, Lt. A.S. Perdue, Cpl. DC Brinegar and Cpl. JR Brewer were conducting road patrol in the Comfort area of Boone County when they saw a 2003 Black Dodge Ram traveling left of center. Perdue initiated a traffic stop of the vehicle, according to the report.

In addition, the officers received a tip that Ricky Sprouse and Christopher Priestley were in possession of stolen circuit breakers that had been removed from a coal mine property.

After obtaining consent to search the vehicle, the officers were advised that there was a suitcase in the truck that contained the breakers, according to their report.

A man advised officers that he was driving the two men to meet someone to sell the breakers and that they weren't able to complete the sale.

Sprouse is also currently on bond in Kanawha County for mine theft. Priestley, 41, of Racine was charged in a separate case for possession of heroin with intent to deliver after he was found with multiple individual packages of a substance believed to be heroin. The report states that he advised officers that he intended to deliver the packages.

As of CVN print deadline, Priestley was held in the Southwestern Regional Jail on a $50,000 cash/surety bond and Sprouse was held in Southwestern Regional Jail on a $100,000 cash/surety bond.

Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at or at 304-307-2403.