POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Investigators are having deja vu after digging up vehicles on the same property seven years later.
“Here we are again and look what we have: chopped vehicles,” said Sheriff Grady Judd.
Polk County deputies arrested Gary Williams for allegedly running a chop shop on his grandmother’s Mulberry property.
He was arrested in 2013 for the same thing. Sheriff Judd said he was sentenced to five years as part of a plea deal.
“For the most part, same method of operation as last time. They brought them here from other locations. Think about this, this is a beautiful rural part of Florida in this community. It’s easy to hide stuff here,” said Sheriff Judd.
Authorities say, Williams, and his accused accomplice, Joshua Bellamy, stole Ford trucks, buried them on the 10-acre property and then sold the parts.
“We had some person who had their vehicle stolen, went online looking around and said ‘hm, I think that’s my stolen stuff’,” said Sheriff Judd.
Both sides learned some lessons.
Sheriff Judd said Williams removed the VIN numbers from the vehicles this time.
Detectives had a better sense of where the trucks were hidden.
In 2013, they were hidden more than 30 feet deep.
“We have experience you see, he’s given us a lot of hands-on experience. So they know his M.O. and they know where and how he hides stuff,” said Sheriff Judd.
Williams is facing environmental-related charges as well, including polluting and dumping litter.
“We think it’s not good to put nasty ole vehicles with oil and grease in this beautiful Florida property,” said Judd.
Between the two of them, Bellamy and Williams racked up at least 60 charges.