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Two plead guilty to stealing tons of nickel

Monday - 4/23/2012, 10:48pm  ET

BALTIMORE (AP) - Two men who operate a warehouse that stored nickel briquettes imported through the Port of Baltimore have pleaded guilty to a plot to steal tons of the metal and selling it.

Fifty-year-old Gregg Lee Purbaugh and 44-year-old Kenneth Trainum, both of Baltimore, entered the plea Friday. They face a maximum penalty of five years in prison at sentencing Aug. 9.

According to their plea agreements, Purbaugh and Trainum used their warehouse to store containers of nickel that was mined outside the U.S. Starting in 2006, the two began removing nickel from the warehouse and set it aside to sell later.

Court documents state that the men sold a conspirator 80,000 pounds of nickel worth $1 million, for the scrap metal price of $8 per pound.

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