Cooper said the four, David Buzzard, 26, who was wanted for escape, Jacqas (J.C.) Wooten, 26, Christy Hamm, 25, and Terry Malott, 28, were arrested in rural Greenup County Thursday morning, when they delivered three stolen vehicles to a location just off I-64 at the edge of Greenup County.
The arrests reportedly are the result of an investigation that lasted several weeks, in which he had numerous meetings with the subjects in question while acting in an undercover capacity, purchasing stolen vehicles.
Cooper and his deputies, along with other cooperating agencies, acted on the vehicle thefts Thursday at around 9:37 a.m. at a prearranged location.
He said he and two undercover deputies had met with the subjects before, buying stolen vehicles, and had three delivered to Thursday's location. Cooper said he bought five different vehicles last week from the same individuals, bringing the total to eight stolen vehicles purchased undercover.
The vehicles recovered were SUVs and pickup trucks, all from Huntington and Charleston (W.Va.) area dealerships, and all were late-model luxury vehicles, many with less than 100 miles on them. and with a sticker still in the window.
Cooper said the subjects were breaking into car dealerships and stealing the keys to the vehicles.
He also said the vehicles will be returned to the dealerships after processing is completed.
All four remain lodged in Greenup County Detention Center and are awaiting arraignment.
Cooper said the investigation is continuing, conducted by the Huntington Police Department, the Cabell County (W.Va.) Sheriff's Department, the FBI, U.S. Marshal Service and Greenup County Sheriff's Department.
Cooper said numerous other arrests are pending as a result of the arrests and parallel investigations with the other departments.
FRANK LEWIS can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232.