According to the GBI, Jose Mezquite Ramirez, age 45, of Marion County, has been arrested for operating a chop shop, three counts of buying, selling, receiving, concealing, using, possessing, or disposing of motor vehicle or part thereof from which identification has been removed or altered, theft by receiving stolen property – automobile, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
The arrest was made on August 10, 2022, following the execution of a search warrant at 354 Geneva Road, Buena Vista, Marion County, GA. Three vehicles with fraudulent VINs were seized, in addition to multiple firearms and over $75,000 in U.S. Currency. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the search warrant. Ramirez is being held in the Marion County Jail.
On August 3, 2022, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) State Bureau of Investigation requested GBI assistance regarding the multi-state “chop shop” operation. ALEA, GBI, and the Columbus Police Department conducted a joint investigation resulting in multiple search warrants being executed on August 10, 2022, including this one.
Once the case has been completed, it will be turned over to the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit for prosecution.