In August, Yadkin County NC Sheriff’s Office investigators received a report that someone had climbed a tower in East Bend and cut off several hundred feet of coaxial cable that would likely be sold to a scrap metal firm.
In October, another Yadkin County theft of copper cable was reported in Yadkinville.
Detectives, with the assistance of AT&T Mobility Services, were able to identify a possible suspect, 45-year-old Douglas Corbett Lee, of Fayetteville, NC, after he had made several Facebook posts regarding cell towers and the money that can be made from stripping them of coax.
Lee was arrested this week and is being held in the Iredell County Detention Center. His bail is set at $30,000.
The well-known Facebook tower tech who owns Lee Tower Service, sometimes calling himself the Postmaster General or the Postmaster of the U.S. House of Representatives, was arrested in September 2021 in Rowan County, about 50 miles south of Yadkinville, for stealing coax.
He informed Rowan Sheriff’s Office detectives that the tower fell under the control of maritime law and that he was also empowered to do the work under Article Two of the Declaration of Independence during certain hours.
Authorities thought he might have issues with mental stability after he continued with untethered political commentary and disjointed statements about communications law that allowed him to keep any coax that is on a structure legally.
Lee’s court date in Rowan County was set for January 11, 2023, and he was informed that he had to attend a court-ordered examination with a psychologist who does forensic evaluations, possibly because the prosecutor wanted to identify if he could stand trial.
In a video he recorded earlier this year, Lee said that he had fired his attorney and was representing himself and felt confident that the court would “have zero chance of convicting me of a crime.”
He said he already had a psychiatrist, didn’t need an additional one if he didn’t know the questions in advance, and invoked his right to remain silent.
At that time, he alluded in Facebook posts that the court had dropped the charges against him, but he might have never shown up for his court hearing or the evaluation.
According to Yadkin County Sheriff Nick Smitherman, Lee has been charged with two counts of Felony Larceny and two counts of Felony Injuring Property to Obtain Nonferrous Metals,
He is being held for these charges and similar charges out of other counties in North Carolina.
He also has extraditable charges for similar crimes in South Carolina. Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office detectives are working with other agencies regarding Lee and other possible thefts at cell phone towers.
In mid-September, tower developer Subcarrier Communications offered a $1,000 reward in an article in Wireless Estimator, and a social media post for information resulting in the arrest of an individual who stripped one of the towerco’s structures of coax. Lee then asked the group’s administrator to ban Subcarrier because “No entity owns any property at a cell tower.”
Although Lee emphatically states that Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution states “Taxpayers provide for purchasing all communication equipment with the powers of Congress…,” it doesn’t.
Lee has also video recorded himself informing a BB&T bank official that he was a commerce commissioner investigating a national security issue, and if she didn’t assist him, he was coming back with law enforcement. He also told another bank’s teller that he wanted to cash in a bank stock from another financial institution, and she had to provide him with the funds because her bank was in the Federal Reserve System.