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Telephone vandal gets parole hearing

The North Dakota Parole Board will consider next week whether to release the man who cut phone lines in Fargo for a burglary eight years ago. About 20,000 phone customers lost their service for nearly a week in January 1995 when Michael Damron cu...

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The North Dakota Parole Board will consider next week whether to release the man who cut phone lines in Fargo for a burglary eight years ago.

About 20,000 phone customers lost their service for nearly a week in January 1995 when Michael Damron cut Qwest lines to disable alarms at Fargo's Site on Sound. Damron, then a 31-year-old North Dakota State University electrical engineering student, stole $60,000 to $80,000 worth of electronics from the business, court records say.

Once he became a suspect, Damron eluded capture until November 1996, when the FBI found him in Iowa. He pleaded guilty to the crimes the next year and received a 10-year prison sentence.

The Parole Board, which meets monthly to consider applicants, rejected Damron's request for release in 2001 because of the seriousness of the crime. It said it would give him another chance two years later.

Damron's sentence is set to end March 12, 2005.

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