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Harrison car salesman charged with selling stolen vehicles to drug dealers

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Perry Brown of Harrison--accused of selling vehicles to drug dealers from car dealership where he worked

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By R.A. Monti
Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 2:18 p.m.
 

State drug agents knew something was amiss when they noticed many of the low-level drug traffickers they had been investigating were driving high-priced trucks.

Drug dealers usually don't have the means to buy such luxurious items.

After consulting many of their informants and investigating the traffickers' finances, agents discovered the name of Harrison resident Perry M. Brown, according to court documents.

Brown, 52, of 1807 State St. was charged Tuesday afternoon with two counts of receiving stolen property, two counts of theft by unlawful taking, and one count criminal use of a communication facility.

The charges were announced through Attorney General Kathleen Kane's office after the completion of a state grand jury investigation.

The grand jury alleges Brown stole trucks from Shults Ford of Wexford, where he was a salesman, and sold them at cut-rate prices to drug traffickers.

Shults Ford did not return calls for comment on this story.

Last summer, an undercover agent claims, he bought two trucks that Brown stole from Shults, buying one with a sticker price of $41,000 for $7,500. Brown also allegedly supplied inspection and emission stickers and an out-of-use or “dead” license plate.

Brown allegedly made arrangements to sell two additional trucks to undercover officers but was arrested when he went to deliver the vehicles.

According to court documents, police obtained a search warrant for Brown's house, where they seized 250 inspection stickers, 200 emission stickers, and a certificate of authenticity for a diamond ring, which had been reported stolen from a safe inside Shults Ford.

Brown was arraigned before McCandless District Judge William Wagner and released on his own recognizance.

Brown will next appear in court for a preliminary hearing on July 10.

R.A. Monti is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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