Homeland Security says additional arrests may also be taking place in other states. Washington maybe? Oregon?
Operation Heavy Metal Breaks 9-State Catalytic Converter Flight Network
According to Homeland Security, through US Customs and Border Patrol, IIt is probably the largest catalytic converter flight network or organization in US history.
Homeland Security (HSI) agents carried out raids in 9 states on November 2 to take down a massive nationwide network of thieves.
HSI reports that so far, 21 arrests have been made, with seizures of thousands of converters in 9 states. They include (according to HSI):
“Arrests, searches and seizures have taken place in California, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wyoming. A total of 21 people in five states have been arrested and/or charged for their roles. in the plot.”
According to HSI, the market for these items is very lucrative:
“The black market price for catalytic converters can exceed $1,000 each, depending on the type of vehicle. Additionally, catalytic converters often lack unique serial numbers, VIN information, or other vehicle characteristics. distinctive identifications, making them difficult to trace back to the rightful owners.”
This operation involved a series of suspects who recovered the stolen converters and then were able to ship them to legitimate converter factories for processing and receipt of the money. Defendants created “shell” companies to pose as legitimate unit recycling operations.
The investigation is continuing and other arrests may also follow in other states. More than 100 law enforcement agencies contributed to HSI’s sting effort on this case.