Woman accepts charges in copper sale
Kyong Hee Chon, a recycler, had bought stolen copper wire
The wife of a Kalihi recycling company owner has declined to contest charges that she purchased a stolen spool of copper wire valued at more than $3,000 and failed to ask for identification when accepting items for recycling.
Kyong Hee Chon, 44, was among several employees of scrap-metal dealers arrested earlier this year following investigations into copper recyclers.
Copper stolen from school buildings, churches and freeway lights has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses in the last year.
Chon's is believed to be the first local case of someone purchasing stolen copper. The 653-pound spool of copper wire was labeled "HECO" for Hawaiian Electric Co., but her attorney, Michael Green, said she did not know what it stood for.
Chon agreed to plead as charged to attempted second-degree theft and four misdemeanor violations of the law governing scrap dealers after reviewing the evidence against her, Green said.
Circuit Judge Richard Pollack set sentencing for Oct. 15. Chon faces a maximum of five years in prison.
Green notified the court yesterday that he will be asking the court to defer his client's plea for a term similar to probation. Chon has no criminal record, he said.
Deputy Prosecutor Kristine Yoo said they expect to oppose a deferral.
Chon's husband owns Aiea Recycling at 1811 Dillingham Blvd.