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Yard owner pleads guilty in nickel theft

Keywords: Tags  scrapyard, nickel briquette, AAA Scrap Metal, David Spaid, ATI Allegheny Ludlum, nickel theft, Lisa Gordon

PITTSBURGH — The owner of AAA Scrap Metal in Pittsburgh is facing up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for his role in the theft of nickel from ATI Allegheny Ludlum Corp.

David Michael Spaid, 56, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania to interstate transportation of stolen goods. He is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 15.

In October 2011, some Allegheny Ludlum employees in Brackenridge, Pa., stole four super sacks of imported Russian nickel and moved them to a nearby field where an employee of Spaid met them, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The nickel, which weighed more than 17,000 pounds, was valued at $151,000. The men were given $30,000 with an agreement they would receive an additional payout based on the selling price, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The nickel briquettes were sold to a Terrell, Texas, company.

Spaid admitted to transporting, transmitting and transferring the stolen material across state lines. He told police that he had purchased at nickel from an ATI employee at least nine times.

AAA Scrap Metal had no comment on the matter and declined to indicate whether it will remain in business if its owner is sentenced to prison. Spaid could not be reached for comment.

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