Fayette County man sent to prison for role in burglary ring

September 23, 2018

A Fayette County man was ordered Tuesday to serve up to four years in prison for his role in a series of thefts two years ago in which hundreds of pieces of equipment and construction materials valued at more than $150,000 were taken.

David F. Wray, 47, pleaded guilty this year to 10 charges including racketeering, conspiracy, theft and other offenses for a burglary ring that operated for about a month during 2016 in Westmoreland County.

Prosecutors said Wray was the ringleader of a group of four men who broke into 17 business and construction sites and stole equipment, tools, tires and other items.

“These were a calculated course of conduct that resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars of property taken. There is a consequence for that,” said Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher Feliciani.

The judge sentenced Wray to serve two-to-four years in prison and an additional five years on probation.

Deputy Attorney General Katherine Wymard asked that Wray be ordered to serve a substantial prison term and not house arrest as was requested by defense attorney Brian Aston.

Wymard gave the judge an itemized four-page list of the stolen items, most of which were recovered when investigators arrested Wray and his three co-defendants.

“He is a professional thief and a professional criminal,” Wymard said.

Two of Wray’s codefendants, John Phillip Kerr Jr., 46, of Elizabeth, Allegheny County; and Shane Michael Pierce, 35, of West Newton, pleaded guilty with Wray in March. Kerr was scheduled to be sentenced along with Wray on Tuesday but his case was postponed because of an illness.

Pierce’s sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.

A fourth man, Jason Michael Walters, 35, of Herminie, pleaded guilty to a charge of trespassing and was sentenced in May to one year on probation.

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