Authorities seize 31 vehicles in Willard

WILLARD - Authorities seized 31 vehicles, 200 car titles and about $24,000 in cash when using two search warrants simultaneously Wednesday afternoon at two Willard addresses. Huron County Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Dane Howard said the multi-jurisdictional investigation involves tampering with records and vehicle ownership. The detective said the suspects bought vehicles under a company name and then sold them, using people's names without their consent, to illegal aliens.
Cary Ashby
Jul 25, 2010


WILLARD - Authorities seized 31 vehicles, 200 car titles and about $24,000 in cash when using two search warrants simultaneously Wednesday afternoon at two Willard addresses.

Huron County Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Dane Howard said the multi-jurisdictional investigation involves tampering with records and vehicle ownership. The detective said the suspects bought vehicles under a company name and then sold them, using people's names without their consent, to illegal aliens.

"There was no arrest made at this point," Howard added. "We seized a huge amount of records dozens and dozens of car titles."

Police used four towing companies to move the vehicles to the impound lots at the sheriff's office and Willard Police Department. Some of the vehicles came from other states. Not all of them had been stolen.

"Eight of them were from Akron," Sheriff's Capt. Bob McLaughlin said.

Willard and Norwalk officers, several deputies and investigators with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) and the state taxation department were involved in executing the search warrants about 3 p.m. at 4114 Townline Road 12 and 24 Motson St.

McLaughlin said there potentially are three suspects, one or two of whom are from Mansfield. None of them are being named because they haven't been charged or arrested.

The BMV had been receiving information from Willard Police Detective Sgt. Rick Sexton "on and off for a number of years" about one of the suspects moving vehicles from Ohio to Mexico, McLaughlin said.

"He'd buy them here and sell them in Mexico. They're worth more down there," he explained. "According to (the) BMV, he was jumping titles."

McLaughlin said the suspect sold vehicles without titles and didn't pay state taxes on those vehicles.

The BMV also had information that the same man would buy vehicles through a Mansfield dealership, take them to Willard and then transport them en masse to Mexico, he continued. McLaughlin said individuals from the dealership ultimately could be prosecuted or used as witnesses, but that would be determined by the BMV or Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler.

Officers will be meeting with investigators from the BMV and state taxation department to process the evidence. After that process is completed, the case will be turned over to Leffler's office for the consideration of charges.

"It will be some time before it goes to the prosecutor's office," McLaughlin said.

He and Howard credited the work of Norwalk Police Officer Seth Fry in getting the investigation moving quickly. McLaughlin described Fry as inquisitive when making traffic stops and "knowledgeable about what's going on in the county with certain crimes." Fry has been a full-time officer since 2004.

"He developed the original lead on this," Chief Kevin Cashen said. He added that Fry was assigned to work with other authorities "due to the size of the crimes and how it touched the city of Norwalk."

In mid-August, Fry learned of a Florida victim who hadn't bought a vehicle that was titled in his name, Howard said. The detective mentioned "other indicators" that sent red flags up to investigators, but he declined to elaborate.

Howard hopes to have the investigation wrapped up by next week.


oh boy (Anonymous)

Seth Fry moving quickly, is that even possible? The only time I see them moving quickly is on a weekend night when all the cops are breaking the traffic laws in this town. Making illegal u-turns, speeding, running red lights, blowing through stop signs, tailgating, driving with their high beams on and making an illegal right turn on red uptown with no lights or sirens activated ever. I see all this every weekend when I'm driving through town coming home from work. I can't tell you how many times I've had a police car following me so close to my rear bumper that I can almost read the cops badge number in my rearview mirror. Maybe instead of worrying about a few cars down in Willard, Chief Cashen should take all of his little troopers back out to the DMV and make them take their driver's exam over. Then again, if you're a cop in a patrol car and drive 50+ mph down Benedict Ave. just so you can tailgate a car, who's going to stop you?

fry guy (Anonymous)

seth fry ha thats funny i bet he was holding a krispie kreme the whole time...besides all i have seen the only thing he knows how to do is beat up elderly drunks oh i forgot and sell cars. he is a waste of taxpayer money. he is norwalks biggest loser.


Gee illegal aliens in Willard........Ya think........ Hey, Sheriff D_ck can use those cars in a demo derby somewhere. Another feather in the cap of Howard. Dane for Sheriff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

driverguy (Anon...

the way police drive around in their cars in this town is amazing!!! take a walk uptown when the bars are full and watch the way the police obey the traffic laws. it is shameful. a few weeks back i watched a car pull out of the alley that comes from the office bar. they turned right and headed north on hester street making a complete stop at monroe. they continued straight and about the time they were down to ohio street a police car turned off of main street onto hester going by me walking. i turned and watched wondering how the officer could make a stop at monroe driving as fast as he was. he never even slowed down for the stop sign!! he drove right through picking up speed. by the time i saw the brake lights come on for the stop at league street, the cop was already on his butt right behind them! how fast do you think that cop was driving to be able to catch up with that car that quick? he didn't have his lights or siren going either. simple logic tells you he couldn't be doing the speed limit like everyone else is required to obey. i hope someone catches some of this on camera sometime and turns it into the state. simply going to the chief with it will get you nothng but trouble and they'll make sure to file the evidence in the wastebasket.


cops in this town obeying driving laws.......yeah right!!!!!!!!!!

Wow driverguy (...

While walking a police car passes you after turning on to Hester from Main St and you can see he was "already on his butt right behind them" by League St. You must have great vision or be an extremely fast walker.

smalltowner (An...

What does any of these comments have to do with the article . NONE. I personally think it is great that they are cracking down on this kind of crap. Everyone complains about Willard all the time yet when they do something positive there to try and correct a bad situation all you people can do is come up with petty S**t to try and bring down something positive YOU ALL NEED TO GROW UP. THIS IS A GOOD THING . I hope they will sell these vehicles locally at auction, keep the money local.

swiss family......

i agree with smalltowner... sometime the police have to break the laws , such as the speed limit , so they can investigate something suspicious !! it's amazing the way that some people on here think .. if someone had just robbed your house or broken into your car , and there was an eye witness who told the police the make and model of the get away car , and a police officer spotted the suspicious car , but they were going in the wrong direction , and by the time they turned their car around , the car being persued had a huge lead on them , of course they would have to speed to catch up with them !! it's only logical !! and if the get away car was in sight , and the police officer didn't speed to get them , you same people would be the one's complaining that they allowed them to get away ??? as far as the cars go , who notorized the transactions?? they shoud be held responsible as well , and how were the cars transported .. i wonder if the Brant's were involved at all ?? the one brother has a tow truck , and i believe his wife bought a notary stamp at a garage sale , ?? it would be interesting to see where this trail leads !!

smalltowner (An...

to swiss family...why can you not get over your narrow minded attitude towards the Brants? SO WHAT if she bought her Notary stamp at a garage sale? And so what if he had or has a tow truck? geez!!! Get over it . Let them make a living and mind your own business. I have a notary stamp and if I could have bought one at a sale and saves 10 of 15 bucks I would have done it too.

Susie S (Anonymous)

Right on, right on, right on.

Above The Law (...

Smalltowner & Swiss Family are right. Don't you guys get it. When you are issued your badge the laws don't apply to you. You can drive as fast as you want, you can steal anything you want, you can hassle anyone you want. The laws don't apply to you. Come on get with the program here. Keep up the good work smallminder & SF

smalltowner (An...

Okay, am I missing something, because I do not remember mentioning anything about being above the law just because you are the law. I made no comments about anything other than the fact that combined law enforcement officials actually did something good about one of the many problems in Willard.I refuse to bring up petty s**t just to down play positive actions. You people need to GROW UP!!!!!

willard residen...

i for one live in willard and i am sick and tired of the crap that is going on here and i am glad they are cracking on these people...there is nothing but drugs and ailens here it makes it hard on us that are actually obeying the law to live here...i know mr dane howard personally and he is a good man and i am glad that he is standing up and doing something to correct the problems father was a cop and i tell u it is one of the hardest and thankless jobs out there no matter what they do they get no credit for anything...i dont agree with some of the way that some carry themselves but that doesnt make them all bad...dane if you read this my dad would be proud of what a great man u have turned out to be keep it up!!!!

fry guy (Anonymous)

fry is the guy who was picked on and bullied in high school and now has to hide behind his little badge. he has the biggest case of little man syndrome for a big guy

another willard... no what cops stands for right? Crooks On Patrol....unfortuneatly this seems to be truer everyday in willard

re: swiss famil...

I have no trouble with the cops in this town doing their job. You are dead wrong on what a cop can and can't do while driving around in their car. They can not break speeding laws or any other traffic laws unless they have their light bar and sirens activated. It's just that plain and simple! That's the whole reason they have flashing lights and that loud siren. They've gone up and down my street on a regular basis going 10-20 mph over the speed limit (25 mph limit on my street). If there is a reason they need to drive that fast then they need to warn people they're coming. What would happen if a kid was crossing the street or someone backed out of their driveway not expecting a car roaring down their street? If they kill or injure someone, do you just say "oh well, they had the right to break the law since they're cops"? Wake up, just because they give them a shiny little badge and a gun doesn't give them free reign to do whatever they want.

dude (Anonymous)

you should see them racing down North Sandusky St. in Bellevue in excess of 70 Mph. No lights or sirens. seen it a few times over the last year. couldn't believe it!! It's a wonder someone didn't get hit.

honest (Anonymous)

seth isn't that bad of guy

swiss family .....

to "smalltowner" i never said that the Brants were involved , i was just curious as to whether they might be ... and if you are really a notary , with your attitude and lack of brain functions , ...heaven help us all !!!

smalltowner (An...

hey swiss family read what you wrote , out of nowhere you bring up the Brants for no reason at all. I am a notary and I have no problem with the people that I deal with, its just narrow minded blow hards that have nothing better to do than to try and stir up problems for other people just for something to do. Grow up and get a life because nobody really cares about your comments anymore because we have all seen them on every article that has been in here and it is ALWAYS negative.

Hip Hip Hooray!...

Swiss Family is an idiot with idiotic thoughts and thoughtless comments, a real negitave Nelly indeed! Always slamming someone, yet look how SHE types! Spell check, honey! Ask your mommy to get it for you for Christmas this year! Oh, and shut up! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

Re: swiss famil...

here is what you wrote:i wonder if the Brant's were involved at all ?? the one brother has a tow truck , and i believe his wife bought a notary stamp at a garage sale , ?? it would be interesting to see where this trail leads !! " Yes, let's talk about attitude. (I'm suprised you could spell it) You are a trouble-maker. I saw where someone else wrote you are a bully, too. If I was your mother I'd turn you over my knee...and I would have raised you better than she did.

swiss family......

to "re swiss family" you must be brain dead , you even quoted what i said in my listing .. and anyone can clearly see that i simply asked if the Brant's might be involved in this ?? i never said that they were .. am i not allowed to ask a simple question ?? oops there i did it again !! sorry about that !!! and then i backed it up with facts ... Jim Brant owns a tow truck ... that's a fact .. and his wife is kind of a notary , she bought her notary stamp at a garage sale .. so she has never been legally sworn in and administered the position of being a notary .. that is also another fact !!!!so where is the problem ?? i never said that they were involved , but if it walks like a duck , and quacks like a duck .....

you're a duck! ...

'nuff said!

I don't get it....

I know a lot of people who own a tow truck, who are a notary...but would I be so shallow as to list them on here as possible suspects? You're trying too hard to open an old can of worms on here, swiss family, and it's not just this comment about the Brants. It's your attitude about New Londoners as well- your attitude in general is excessively rude and unacceptable. You have a lot of growing up to do. Free your mind, and the rest will follow.

in order for (A...

swiss family to free his mind he must first pull his head out of his a$$

just kinda want...

Yeah......illegal aliens in Willard...more and more every year come here......nothing but Mexicans....and the big WEALTHY muck owners employ them...they use legal immigrants id's to work.....they use our hospital here as a doctor's office....ask them for their social security number and they say.......999-99-9999 payers paying for all of this....Willardmexico....yo Bruce Buurma, you say you don't hire illegals....??? and just where are ALL of them working? In your muck fields, that's where.....all of you rich Dutchmen........thanks for making our town a sanctuary the way, I intercepted an id from Texas, in my mail, from a person who had an expired resident alien card and was sending it along with a social security card...the letter was from someone who couldn't even spell Willard right...guess that is how it ended in my mail box......Jose was sending it to Pablo with Enrico's id...ohhh boyyyy.......oh, and right next door to the stolen vehicle ring house lives a man who had his truck stolen a few months back.......!!! wonder if that is in Mexico, too ???

swiss family......

to "just kinda wanted you to know" i do agree with what you are saying , but i am sure that it is illegal for you to open any mail that is addressed to someone else , and read it ... i kinda just wanted you to know

Only Swiss Fami...

...would have a comment on that MESS someone wrote. Only you would take the time to read it. What? Not mentioning the Brants today? What's a matter? Cat got your forked tongue??

Speed Kills... ...

About the cops speeding...that's just one of those things that it will take someone getting hurt or killed before it is changed. There are many of these types of things happening all of the time and in a lot of places. Anyways...good job by the Cops for busting this ring.