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Friday, 08 June 2012 16:38

Former Trenton, NJ, Shop Owner charged in car theft scheme

A former auto body repair shop owner and his ex-wife, the owner of a used car business, have been charged in a state grand jury indictment for their alleged roles in a stolen car trafficking scheme.

Fermin Ortiz, 52, whose last known address was in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, and his ex-wife, Judy Perez, 52, of Trenton, were charged June 4 with second-degree operation of a facility for sale of stolen automobiles or parts, third-degree receiving stolen property, and third-degree fencing.

The indictments were announced June 5 by state Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa.

Ortiz and Perez operated Capitol City Collision and Arena Auto Sales, both on Reservoir Street in Trenton. It is alleged that, between July 29, 2007 and October 2, 2008, the defendants used the facilities for the remodeling, repainting, or separating of automobile parts for the resale of stolen automobiles, according to a news release.

Officials allege Ortiz and Perez knowingly received or brought the following stolen vehicles and parts into New Jersey: a 1995 Chevrolet Impala; a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500; a Lexus steering column with air bag; a Lexus dash board with air bag; a Dodge Ram passenger side air bag; a Dodge Ram steering column with air bag; a 2003 Mercedes Benz interior front left door panel; a 2003 Mercedes Benz interior front right door panel; a 2003 Mercedes Benz interior rear left door panel; and a 2003 Mercedes Benz interior rear right door panel.

Second-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of $150,000, while crimes of the third degree carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and a criminal fine of $15,000.

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