Four charged in metal theft, meth lab at Kennecott
Crime •Workers accused of stealing copper wire.
Published: August 11, 2012 10:47PM
Updated: August 12, 2012 01:12PM

Four men, including two Kennecott copper mine workers, have been charged with stealing copper wire from the mine and having methamphetamine-making equipment on its grounds.

One of the workers admitted to stealing wire and brass clamping rings on five separate occasions in spring 2011 and selling it at recycling facilities — getting about $2,200 for metal estimated to be worth several hundred thousand dollars, according to charges filed Friday in 3rd District Court.

In interviews with police, the other worker, a 38-year-old West Valley City man, told a detective there was “a complete meth lab on Kennecott property,” charges state. He took detectives to an area known as the “lay down yard,” where they found a box containing glassware and red phosphorous.

Police also found a meth lab in a shed at the home of the other worker, a 42-year-old Magna man, according to the charges.

The pair began working together at Kennecott in late 2010, and one acted as a lookout while a third man, 41, helped steal the copper, according to the charges. The fourth man, age 29, is accused of helping steal the brass rings.

The two Kennecott workers were each charged with two counts of first-degree felony theft and second-degree felony possession of clandestine laboratory equipment.

The 41-year-old who helped steal the wire is also facing a first-degree felony theft charge, as is the 29-year-old accused of helping steal the brass rings.

lwhitehurst@sltrib.com

Twitter: @lwhitehurst