Five charged in copper theft ring

ATLANTA – Federal authorities have charged five men as part of an “organized ring” that stole copper wire with a Carrollton manufacturer.

“Copper is disappearing at an alarming rate as its value has increased. People in our communities have heard of many smaller thefts, but these charges allege that this scheme involved about a half million dollars worth of copper,” United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a news release. “The indictment also alleges that this was an organized ring with a specific criminal plan. Our federal and local agencies are well aware of this demand for copper and increased criminal activity.”

Federal authorities allege the men posed as truck drivers for a “legitimate shipping company,” then picked up 129,000 pounds of copper wire – worth $465,000 – and delivered it to various Indiana.

All five men are charged with a count of conspiracy and a count of transporting stolen goods in interstate commerce. One man has already pleaded guilty to both charges and faces a July 8 sentencing hearing, authorities said.

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