Graves was charged with nine counts of first degree theft, including five that were first degree theft of a motor vehicle. He was also charged with one count of second degree theft and one of third degree theft.
He chose to plead guilty to those charges and Judge Hoyt Elliott sentenced him to 20 years for each count of first degree theft and 10 years on the second degree theft charge, all to run concurrently.
Elliott also ordered Graves to pay $23,188 in restitution to five of the victims. Restitution for a sixth victim is still to be determined.
The theft charges stem from robberies that occurred all over the county last year, and most of the equipment was construction-type equipment owned by smaller businesses.
Much of the equipment was recovered in Corinth, Miss., where Graves and two others were arrested while attempting to sell the stolen items.
“So many of Walker County’s businesses are sole proprietors, and when you steal their tools, they can’t work,” District Attorney Bill Adair said. “That’s why we went after this so hard. He stole from some good people.”
Adair commended Walker County Sheriff’s investigator Tim Thomas for his hard work in solving this crime and recovering the stolen items. He also thanked Mississippi police for their assistance in apprehending the suspects and recovering the items.