FAIRBANKS - A former worker at the Pogo Mine has pleaded guilty to stealing copper wire valued at more than $50,000 from the mine.
Simeon Staley was originally charged with first degree theft.
The 27-year-old man pleaded guilty this week to second-degree theft, in an agreement with prosecutors.
A co-defendant, Mark Garwood, in January also pleaded guilty to the lesser charge. He is scheduled for a May sentencing.
Authorities believe that Staley would load copper and other items onto a truck driven by Garwood.
Copper has become an attractive target for thieves, with the rising price of metals. Copper can bring up to $1.50 a pound.