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Four Men Sent to Prison For Chop Shop Ring That Mentor Police Helped Bring Down

A U.S. District judge sentenced four to prison for their involvement in scrap metal trafficking crime ring.

Four people were sent to prison Thursday for their involvement in a crime ring called one of the largest vehicle and cargo-theft operations in Northern Ohio in the last five years.

And Mentor Police were among the departments that helped crack it.

Nayyir Mahdi, also known as Willie Jones, 42, of Shaker Heights, was sentenced to serve four years in prison and pay just over $22,000 in restitution for his involvement in the crime ring.

Mahdi operated Express Metals on East 152nd Street and, before that, at 14915 Woodworth Ave., both in Cleveland. Mahdi was in the business of selling scrapped metal, according to prosecutors.

“These defendants ended up with semi-trucks or pickups that were stolen from parking lots and other places,” Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, said.

The ring included thefts in Mentor, Twinsburg, Warrensville Heights, Willoughby, Euclid, Elyria and other cities.

“Stealing and selling stolen vehicles and cargo comes with a price of incarceration,” Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland office, said. “The FBI and our Organized Crime Task Force partners will continue our efforts to detect and dismantle these illegal enterprises which negatively impact our economy and our citizens.”

Five others were charged in federal court in connection with the crime ring: 

  • Lindsey Blackmon, 48, of Cleveland, was sentenced to nearly five years (57 months) in prison by U.S. District Judge John Adams.
  • Curtis Wilder, 43, of Bedford Heights, was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay $346,845 in restitution.
  • Gilbert Evans, 48, of Cleveland, was sentenced to 16 months in prison.
  • Mark Brown, 46, of Cleveland, was sentenced to one day in jail followed by eight months of home confinement.
  • Davies Pierce, of Cleveland, is scheduled to be sentenced next month. 

Several others -- including John Jones who was arrested in Mentor -- were involved and prosecuted in county courts.

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