Three Ohio used-car dealerships were recently closed after a multi-month undercover investigation resulted in multiple arrests for records tampering and identity theft.
The Butler County Sheriff’s Department, along with the Social Security Administration and the State of Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, uncovered the illegal action in the dealerships, which were “selling vehicles to illegal aliens and knowingly processing the vehicle titles and registrations under fictitious names,” according to a release from the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.
Nine people were indicted on counts that include tampering with records, taking the identity of another and impersonating a peace officer.
One dealership employee called an undercover officer who failed to make payments and posed as a law enforcement officer, threatening deportation if payments were not made.
Investigations of this nature will likely continue in the area, according to Monte Mayer, the public information officer at the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.
In response to this type of activity, one legislator is moving to impose further obstacles for illegal immigrants to register vehicles.
Courtney Combs (R-Ohio) plans to propose legislation that would require consumers to prove U.S. citizenship or legal immigration status before obtaining a temporary tag or license plate for their vehicles.