Rock Hill man guilty in chop shop conspiracy

Columbia, SC - COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - A Rock Hill man was found guilty in federal court for conspiring to destroy VINs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles and sell the parts.

Wendell Ray Jenkins was convicted on four counts, including conspiracy to destroy vehicle identification numbers on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and to distribute the parts, obliteration of vehicle identification numbers on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, possession of motorcycle parts with destroyed identification numbers intending to sell those parts, and possession of an unregistered destructive device.

Jenkins faces a maximum term of five years for each of the first two counts and 10 years for each of the other two counts. He will be sentenced later this summer.

During the execution of a search warrant at Jenkins' home in August 2009, officers and agents found a 2008 Harley-Davidson motorcycle that had been reported stolen. According to testimony, Jenkins obliterated identification numbers on the motorcycle using a drill and participated in chopping the motorcycle into parts to be sold.

During the search, officers also found an unregistered Streetsweeper 12-gauge assault weapon originally designed in South Africa for use by paramilitary forces in anti-terrorism and riot-control actions. Federal law requires that such a weapon be registered.

The investigation - which lead to two guilty pleas in addition to the conviction of Jenkins - was a joint effort by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, York County Multi-jurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit, York County Sheriff, Rock Hill Police Department, and Fort Mill Police Department, all working together on the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) with the United States Attorney's Office.

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