A Columbus, Ohio woman is headed to jail for her part in her husband’s chop shop ring. According to court documents, Tina Imes, 41, helped her husband and his cohorts steal and cut up dozens of vehicles.
U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers said the ring stole at least 35 vehicles between January 2013 and April 2014. Tina Imes helped her husband, James A. Imes, 51, and his cohorts steal and then dismantle the vehicles.
Chop Shop Earned $15,000 Each Week
They operated three chop shops on the west side of Columbus, Ohio to traffic the stolen parts for the chop shop ring. According to court documents, the earned half a million dollars selling pieces of other people’s cars.
The parts were sold throughout the Midwest. Those chop shops earned between $10,000 and $15,000 per week for the gang of car thieves. DeVillers said the pair registered a truck stolen from Buckeye Ford in London, Ohio in the name of their minor son. The two arranged for a fraudulent VIN number and title for the stolen vehicle.
The crooks parted out the majority of the vehicles or sold as scarp to salvage yards. Officials said the crooked crew turned to Craigslist to post more valuable parts. They advertised those parts online throughout Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
In addition to thieves, the gang also polluted the environment. When they destroyed vehicles and pulled out the air conditioning tubes, HCFC refrigerant chemicals were released into the atmosphere.
Cover For Her Husband
When law enforcement officials talked to Mrs. Imes back in October and November of 2018, she lied to them to protect her husband. U.S. Marshals told her they had a felony arrest warrant in hand for her husband. She told them that she planned to divorce her husband and that he’d run off to Kentucky. James Imes was hiding out in an apartment on Plumway Drive in Columbus. Mrs. Imes regularly delivered food and other supplies to her husband at that address.
The court sentenced James Imes to 120 months in prison back in July of 2019. Tina Imes pleaded guilty in February 2019. U.S. District Judge James L. Graham Tina Imes to 36 months in prison on September 11.