A pair of Kennecott employees are accused of stealing more than $200,000 of copper wire and other metal products and stashing a methamphetamine lab at the plant.
In charges filed in August, police wrote that the two employees, both 42, used a company truck at the north tailings plant, 11978 W. State Route 202, to steal brass clamping rings worth $130,662 and two spools of heavy copper wire, weighing a ton and valued at more than $71,000. They were helped by two other men, ages 42 and 29, in various thefts between March and June of 2011, Unified Police Department detectives wrote.
The men stripped the casing off the metal wire and sold it to metal recyclers for about $2,200, police wrote. Investigators recovered the brass rings from a West Valley City metal recycling center and returned them to Kennecott, police wrote.
One of the employees admitted to investigators that he had hidden a “complete meth lab” in a large pipe on Kennecott property, police wrote. Detectives found glassware and red phosphorous at the plant; other supplies had been taken to a coworker’s home.
The employee whose work truck was used in the thefts was charged with two first-degree felony counts of theft with a gang enhancement and two second-degree felony counts of clandestine laboratory precursors and equipment. The other employee faces the same theft charges but only one clandestine laboratory charge.
Their two associates were charged with one count each of first-degree felony theft.