Operation 'Chopped Shop' racks up 10 racketeering charges
By WFLA.com web staff
A-One Quality Septic in Auburndale
Video provided by Polk Co. Sheriff's Office shows arrests being made in Operation Chopped Shop
Sheriff Grady Judd displays photos of those arrested in Operation Chopped Shop
POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd found a way to sum up the arrests his deputies made for racketeering Friday morning.
"Something stunk at A-One Septic Tank and we're cleaning it up."
On Friday afternoon, Sheriff Judd announced the arrests of seven people, with additional charges being added to three others who are already locked up.
The charges stem from a December 20, 2012 investigation of A-One Quality Services in Auburndale. Deputies say they discovered a chop shop there. Counting today's arrests, a total of 89 charges have been filed against 14 people.
Those arrested and charged with racketeering include Brent Burgett. The Sheriff's Office says he was known as the "boss", and served as the ring leader of the operation. Burgett faces numerous other charges, including Grand Theft and Dealing in Stolen Property.
Also charged, Danny Cleveland, who the Sheriff's Office says was the manager of the operation, and Aleta Burgett, who is said to have operated the "cover" for the racketeering operation -- an unlicensed septic business.
"Our investigation has clearly shown an organized pattern of burglary, theft, and dealing in stolen property," said Judd.
A conviction on a racketeering charge could carry up to a 30 year prison sentence.
"We're going to lock them up," said Judd. "So, the kind of government assistance we want them to get is in the form of a jail cell in the state prison."