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2 men accused of operating Somerset County chop shop

| Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Two men are accused of operating a chop shop involving a car stolen in Fayette County and found stripped in Somerset County.

Brandon Robert Brown, 20, of Addison and Nathaniel Alan Matlick, 21, of Republic were charged with owning, operating and conducting a chop shop, and other related offenses.

The charges stem from an investigation by state police in which a 1993 Honda del Sol, owned by Aaron Michael Richards, was stolen from Lingan Street in Perryopolis around Sept. 12.

According to court documents, Richards traded a Honda Civic hatchback to Matlick for a Honda del Sol through Craigslist. After the trade, Richards received a text message from Matlick who said he had been “ripped off.”

After the theft of the del Sol, Richards saw a Honda motor for sale on Craigslist by Matlick, and Richards sent a friend to check it out. The friend arrived at the residence of Brown, Matlick's friend, and saw the del Sol engine on the garage floor.

Brown told Richards' friend he had for sale a “turbonetic” turbo charger and other turbo parts. Those parts reportedly were on the stolen del Sol. Investigators searched the garage and found the parts were from the stolen del Sol.

Matlick admitted to police he took the del Sol from Richards' residence and drove it to Brown's to take it apart in the garage, according to the complaint. Matlick took investigators to a wooded area in Preston County, W.Va., where he had abandoned the car's shell.

Brown reportedly admitted to investigators his involvement with the stolen vehicle.

Both men remain free on $25,000 unsecured bond. A formal arraignment is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. July 17 in Courtroom 3 of the Fayette County Courthouse.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or mhofmann@tribweb.com.

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