Hire carefully | Drug trafficking at auto dealerships

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A giant inflatable gorilla sits atop the roof of an auto dealership

"King Kong ain't got nothing" on this auto dealership. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/James Spurrier/Flickr)

Automotive News reports that illegal drug trafficking at auto dealerships has occurred with increasing frequency in recent years, perpetrated either by less-than-honest employees or corrupt ownership. It seems that “parts is parts” takes on an entirely different meaning when boxes of wiper blades headed for the parts department includes bricks of marijuana.

Drug trafficking ring at a Maryland Honda/Volkswagen dealership

According to DealershipForum.com, Maryland police recently seized 120 pounds of marijuana (worth $1.6 million) from a local Honda/Volkswagen dealership. One employee in the parts department was paid $100 per illegal delivery. He accepted the contraband, then passed it on to a drug dealer. Automotive News indicates similar illicit activity occurred at a Detroit-area Mopar Parts Distribution Center, where two 10-pound bricks of marijuana came in a box of wiper blades. Is good help that hard to find, when everyone needs a job?

More auto dealership hijinks

Think these are isolated cases? Think again. The Seattle Times tells the story of the former Huling Brothers Auto Center of Seattle, where money laundering, drug dealing and a smorgasbord of illegal activity allegedly occurred. Fox 29 WFLX of Hollywood, Fla., reports that Richard Carlson, owner of the Nova Motor Group, was allegedly using his Florida auto dealership as a front for a “massive drug trafficking business.” Apparently Carlson stashed cocaine in SUVs that were shipped to Sweden. At Midway Motors of Abington, Mass., Finance Manager Duane Glenn and two others were arrested for selling cocaine to an undercover officer. Marijuana offenses were also involved in the arrests.

The story of John DeLorean

The DeLorean Motor Company was a high-end auto manufacturer that made distinctive gull-winged, stainless-steel luxury sports cars from 1975 until about 1982, when the company went bankrupt. The DeLorean DMC-12 was an American pop culture gem of the 1980s, but John DeLorean still had trouble maintaining operating capital. According to reports, DeLorean was filmed in what appeared to be a drug trafficking transaction, where he accepted money in exchange for the illicit substance. DeLorean was subsequently acquitted of charges on the grounds that entrapment had been used.

No entrapment here – auto loans can save you green



Automotive News

Massachusetts Law Enforcement Network

Seattle Times



Man sues Texas auto dealership that sold him ‘drug car’

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