2 charged with copper theft from Biloxi dock

Published 2:07 pm Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Two Mississippi Gulf Coast residents are out on bond after being charged with stealing copper wiring from the Biloxi Port Commission’s lighthouse fishing dock.

The state Department of Marine Resources says 45-year-old Sompon Kongtippanya of Ocean Springs and his passenger, 39-year-old Michelle Braman of Gulfport, are charged with grand larceny.

DMR says in a news release Tuesday that shortly after midnight this past Friday, Marine Patrol Lt. Olin Gunter stopped a vessel operating with no navigation lights at the D’Iberville boat ramp. Aboard the vessel, Gunter and another officer discovered 160 pounds of copper wiring valued between $560 and $640.

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Harrison County jail records show Braman was released Friday on $10,000 bond and Kongtippanya was released Sunday on $26,500 bond. It was not immediately clear whether either has an attorney.