Ringleader sentenced in $80 million copper theft ring - Tucson News Now

Ringleader sentenced in $80 million copper theft ring

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Nearly $180,000 worth of stolen raw copper ingots were found on a semi-truck that had been pulled over in a traffic stop in September. (Source: Arizona Department of Public Safety) Nearly $180,000 worth of stolen raw copper ingots were found on a semi-truck that had been pulled over in a traffic stop in September. (Source: Arizona Department of Public Safety)
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A ringleader of a multi-million dollar copper theft ring in Pima County has been sentenced to prison.

Rene Joe Arbizo will spend two and a half years in prison, in addition to seven years of probation for his role in the thefts.

Arbizo was one of 18 people charged in the theft ring last April. He, along with the others, stole the copper from ASARCO, forged paperwork and hid information. They sold most of the copper overseas  to Hong Kong.

Arbizo pleaded guilty to illegally conducting an enterprise and theft.

ASARCO company officials said this cost the company $80 million.

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