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4 charged after 678 pounds of copper recovered in traffic stop

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By Beth Braden

CAMPBELL COUNTY—Three men were arrested on Dec. 6 after police reportedly discovered 678 pounds of stolen copper during a traffic stop.

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Police were alerted to the theft by a business owner who was following the men after they allegedly took the copper valued at almost $2,100.

During the subsequent traffic stop, Dennis Ray Burris Jr., 220 Seitz Lane, Caryville, allegedly told deputies he and Gary Wayne Bunch, 423 Walden Ridge Lane, Caryville, had taken the copper from the business and called Garry Wayne Burriss, 248 Oak Grove, Lake City, to give them a ride. All three men were charged burglary and theft of property greater than $1,000.

The arrest of those men reportedly helped deputies solve two other outstanding cases. Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Preston Prim was investigating a theft at 578 Patty Hill, Caryville. Dennis Burris allegedly admitted to stealing a chainsaw from that address and then selling it to his uncle, Gary Wayne Burriss. Another man, Jason Lee Burris, was also arrested and charged with theft of property greater than $1,000 in connection with the burglary at Patty Hill.

Police also linked Dennis Burris to a theft at a home on Tenn. 116 from earlier this year. His alleged role in those two thefts added two more charges for theft greater than $1,000.

This was Dennis Burris’s fourth booking, Gary Wayne Burriss’s 19th booking and Gary Wayne Bunch’s 17th booking and Jason Lee Burris’s first booking at the Campbell County Jail.