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6 suspects in chop shop ring indicted on 17 federal counts


FBI Special Agent Joseph Callahan talks about arrests in a chop shop operation during a news conference at One Government Center February 7, 2013.

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The six men arrested last month in a suspected Toledo chop shop operation were indicted in federal court on a variety of federal charges.

The 17-count indictment names Michael Wymer, 54, of Toledo; Gary Wymer, 55, of Rossford; Shawn Wymer, 27, of Holland; Terrance Wymer, 28, of Toledo; Michael Deutsch, 38, of Toledo, and Robert Debolt, Jr., 47, of Toledo.

“This was a highly organized group that stole from people throughout the Midwest," said Steven Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, said in a statement issued today.

The men were arrested after searches at 2322 Consaul St. in East Toledo, where authorities allege the suspects took rigs and cargo to be dismantled, destroyed, concealed, or altered.

After their arrests, Magistrate Vernelis Armstrong found probable cause for the cases to proceed against all six defendants. She also ordered that Michael Wymer and Michael Deutsch remained in custody, while the other four were allowed to be released from jail with conditions that included they have no contact with each other or with potential witnesses or victims in the case

The charges stem from alleged activity from August, 2012, through last month, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

The men operated a chop shop located at 642 Sterling St. in Toledo, while Gary Wymer and others operated another chop shop at 2322 Consaul, according to the indictment filed Thursday in U.S. District Court.

“The men would dismantle stolen semi-trucks, trailers, and cargo, transport the pieces and parts of said stolen items between the two chop shops and ultimately destroy or scrap the stolen goods,” said the justice department statement.

Each of the defendants is charged with multiple thefts across state lines from Indiana and Michigan.

“These defendants operated a truck and cargo-theft ring, stealing from Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana, which resulted in a multi-million loses", Stephen Anthony, special agent in charge of the FBI's Northern District of Ohio, said in the statement.

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