A 28-year-old rural Cozad man was arrested Tuesday on three felony charges. A Dawson County arrest warrant was issued for Chance Smith on charges of Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person, Felony Criminal Mischief and Use of a Firearm to Commit a Felony. The case stems from a Dawson County Sheriff’s Office investigation that began in September 2017. An affidavit lists contacts by law enforcement and witnesses with Smith where Smith is alleged to have expressed concerns about electronic surveillance. The affidavit also details several incidents of damaged power line equipment, with a firearm or by disabling it, in the area where he resides.
Dawson Public Power District reported more than $12,000 in power line equipment was damaged during a period from October 4th through October 8th of this year. Some of the damaged equipment resulted in a power outage to Smith’s residence. The affidavit indicated that electrical meters on other properties were vandalized as well. Smith was previously convicted of Attempt of a Class III Felony in 2013, related to a burglary case. Smith was booked into the Dawson County Jail where initial bond was set at 10% of $100,000.