Eight people — five Kentuckians and three Ohioans — were indicted Wednesday in federal court on charges stemming from the sale of stolen motorcycles.
The indictment, which was filed under seal Aug. 11, was unsealed late Wednesday afternoon. All eight are accused in a money-laundering conspiracy related to the interstate shipment of stolen vehicles.
Charged are Ashland residents George Ferguson, 63; Mark Justice, 52; and Richard D. Meade, 64; John C. Slusher, 58, of Pineville; Robert W. Harris, 60, of Newport; Shon Fields, 33, of Cincinnati, Ohio; and Christina Bannigan, 31, and Robert Jason Chapman, 31, of Cleves, Ohio.
The indictment charges some of the defendants with money laundering and possession of stolen vehicle parts with the intent to sell.
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Fields also is charged with obstruction of justice and Harris is charged with lying to a federal law enforcement agency.
According to the indictment, the defendants altered or obliterated the vehicle identification numbers from stolen motorcycles and then transferred the titles to others. Then they sold them, the indictment says.
The operation took place from January 2000 until February 2008, mostly in Bell and Boyd Counties, the indictment says. The defendants made $2.5 million, the indictment says.
If convicted, the defendants could face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.