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Contraband
07/17/2013

Pennsylvania man sentenced for transporting stolen goods across the country

PITTSBURGH – A Pittsburgh resident was sentenced Wednesday to 24 months in prison for transporting stolen goods from Pennsylvania to Texas. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

David Michael Spaid, 56, of Pittsburgh, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab, who also ordered Spaid to pay a $15,000 fine and serve two years of supervised release.

According to court documents, Spaid knowingly and unlawfully transported, transmitted and transferred stolen commerce goods valued at more than $5,000.

The HSI investigation revealed that on or about Oct. 14, 2011, Kenneth Hill and Timothy Angely, two employees of the Allegheny Ludlum plant in Harrison Township, stole four "super sacks" of nickel that had been shipped to Allegheny Ludlum from Russia via Baltimore, Md. The nickel weighed in excess of 17,000 pounds and had a value of approximately $151,000.

Hill and Angely transported the stolen nickel to a nearby open field where it was picked up by a driver working for Spaid at AAA Scrap Metal, located in Pittsburgh. Spaid negotiated the purchase of the stolen nickel from PJ Eberhardt, who worked in conjunction with Hill and Angely. Spaid would "front" Eberhardt $30,000, and then pay an additional amount, according to a prearranged formula for the value of the nickel, after Spaid was able to sell the stolen nickel to a buyer.

In this case, Spaid sold the nickel briquettes to ECS Refining in Terrell, Texas. The nickel was shipped by Spaid's company in western Pennsylvania to Texas at his direction on or around Oct. 21, 2011. Spaid indicated to the Pennsylvania State Police, who interviewed him, that this shipment of stolen nickel was the last of at least nine he received from Eberhardt.