18 indicted in massive Ariz. copper theft identified

18 indicted in massive Ariz. copper theft identified

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PHOENIX (AP) - Attorney General Tom Horne says 18 people have been indicted in a multi-million dollar copper theft ring at an Arizona mine that he says relied on inside help.

The attorney general's office says the case began after the September traffic stop of a truck carrying nearly $180,000 of raw copper stolen from the Asarco mine in Hayden.

The Department of Public Safety says two Asarco, LLC employees, Rene Joe Arbizo and Gene Carlo Garcia, were involved in the theft of nearly $10 million of the metal. Defendants who had been working at the mine have been fired.

Other defendants are accused of driving the copper loads to recyclers in California and Arizona, who would buy it for a fraction of market value.

The attorney general says the recyclers would blacken the copper so it could pass easily through customs on its way to China.

Below is a list of the suspects and their role in the thefts:

Rene Joe Arbizo, supervisor at ASARCO; all counts, warrant issued

Gene Carlo Garcia, supervisor at ASARCO; all counts, warrant issued

Lillian Campos, former contract security guard at ASARCO; all counts, warrant issued

Avelino Rubal, transportation

Robert Elkins, transportation

Caleb Elkins, transportation

Quentin Elkins, transportation

Angela Rubal, transportation

Frank Garcia Duarte, employee of Desert Metals Recycling (Desert Metals is not involved)

Todd Kennedy, truck driver

William Stevens, truck driver

Allen Nichols, truck driver

Chun Chen Pedroza, New Star Services employee in Upland, CA, warrant issued

Joanne Hu, New Star Services owner in Upland, CA. currently in Taiwan, warrant issued

Chihchan Lin, New Star Services owner in Upland, CA. Currently in Taiwan, warrant issued

Marcos Gallego, owner of Mariposa Recycling / RECYCO INC. Tucson and Nogales

Jesus Mariano Luna Vazquez, supervisor at Mariposa Recycling in Nogales

Louis Ernesto Gallego, relative to Marcos Gallego, introduced Rubal to Vazquez

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.

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