CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Ten defendants face racketeering charges for operating a criminal enterprise that trafficked in stolen cars and catalytic converters.
According to the indictment Edward (Wink) Lawson operated a towing company on Miles Road in Cleveland and would sell the stolen vehicles and car parts to metal recycling facilities and share the money with his co-defendants.
The indictment covers a period from April 2012 to February of this year.
Charges filed against Edward Lawson, 38, Eddie ("Sleezie E.") Lawson, 32, Marcellar Grayer, 29, Randy Harris, 32, Gary Thompson Jr., 34, James Mingo, 32, Angela Wilkes, 34, Melvin King, 39, Deshawn Darryl Douglas, 20 and Lawson Towing and Auto Wrecking LLC include engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, conspiracy, forfeiture of property, money laundering, tampering with records, forgery and receiving stolen property.
The indictment alleges that Edward Lawson would sell the stolen items to metal recycling facilities using his scrap metal dealer license. King sold stolen items to recyclers using Edward Lawson's name and license.
Prosecutors say Eddie Lawson, King, Douglas, Grayer and Harris are linked to thefts of catalytic converters from cars parked in parking lots throughout northeast Ohio that were later brought to Edward Lawson. The stolen parts fetched between $100 and $400 each from the metal recyclers.
The victims of these thefts had to replace their catalytic converters at costs up to $4,000 per vehicle.
The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned July 6.
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