Ex-worker sentenced in mine copper theft

Posted: Friday, August 07, 2009

FAIRBANKS - A former Pogo Mine employee convicted of stealing more than $90,000 in copper wire was sentenced to two months in jail.

Simeon Staley, 27, pleaded guilty to second-degree theft earlier this year and was sentenced Wednesday.

He and a co-defendant, Mark Garwood, 45, also were ordered to pay restitution to the mine.

Prosecutor Scott Mattern sought the two-month sentence.

"It started out with them just taking garbage, but the problem is that it's Pogo's garbage and it's up to them what they want to do with it," he said.

Pogo Mine officials became suspicious of Garwood and Staley in March 2008 after wire and other items, such as tires, disappeared over six months.

Authorities said Staley would load the wire and other items onto a semi operated by Garwood.

Garwood, employed with the same trucking company for nearly 20 years, was fired soon after the charges were filed.

Superior Court Judge Randy Olsen said jail time was necessary because of the large amount stolen. He called the theft outrageous.

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