Investigators believe the men are responsible for the theft of $1.8 million in cargo over the last two years.
According to The Chattanoogan, Jay Sanders of Monteagle and Gary Alto of Whitwell were employed by SCS Trucking in Whitwell and were responsible for hauling loads of scrap metal from a company in Ashland City, Tn. to South Pittsburg.
Instead, investigators say the men paid off security guards at one location and employees at another location to look the other way while the men then diverted the loads to Dodson Scrap Metal Yard in Whitwell.
“Authorities said the owners of Dodson Scrap Metal Yard, Randall and Melissa Brown allegedly would not document receiving the metal and would haul it on their own tractor trailer to a scrap metal dealer in Alabama for cash. The scheme has allegedly been ongoing since at least 2010,” The Chattanoogan reported.
Jay Sanders, Gary Alto, Randall Brown, Melissa Brown, James King and Craig Meeks have each been charged with theft of property over $250,000, which is a Class A felony and can result in a 15 to 25-year prison sentence.
“Cargo theft is a nationwide issue with a significant impact on the United States economy. It is estimated that cargo crime accounts for a direct merchandise loss of $15 to $30 billion per year. Virtually all goods manufactured domestically and internationally are transported by truck and train within the continental U.S. Studies indicate that 80 percent of all cargo thefts are ‘inside jobs,’” stated Sergeant Matthew Minter with the THP-CID.