Jason Smith, 37, entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to commit theft charges Thursday in Northampton County Court.
The Morning Calls notes that Judge F.P. Kimberly McFadden called Smith's scheme "as dumb as it gets" when accepting his plea, which could have him in prison for up to two years.
Co-defendant Christopher Warnicke, 38, of New Jersey is still facing charges of theft, conspiracy, running a corrupt organization and receiving stolen property. He is due in court next month for his formal arraignment.
According to court records, the two men were involved in the theft of 31 trailers, valued at $1.2 million, between April and July.
Warnicke is the president of Fatzin Recycling, outside of Bangor. Smith worked for a company W. W. Transport. Police say Smith would take trucks to Warnicke's company for cash. Warnicke would then take them to another recycling business.
Police say the investigation began in June when a truck was reported stolen at Conagra. The truck was owned by W.W. Transport, which is based in Iowa.
Police spoke to W.W.'s owner Jeff Walters, who said he'd gotten a anonymous tip that one of his workers named "Jay" was stealing trailers and selling them for scrap. Smith was the only "Jay" on the company payroll, police said.
Walters did an inventory and found at least 21 missing trailers.
Ultimately, Smith stole 31 trailers, police said -- 29 from W.W. and two from InterCoastal Trucking in Upper Mount Bethel.