Investigators executed eight search warrants in the Denver metro area Wednesday morning following a multi-state investigation into an “organized criminal enterprise” that involved stolen luxury cars, illegal marijuana grows and drug trafficking, according to a news release from the CATPA Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force (C-MATT).
The sting was the result of a six-month investigation that led to 17 recovered stolen vehicles with an estimated value of $1.2 million. According to the news release, the suspects switched the VIN numbers on the luxury cars and proceeded to sell them to unsuspecting customers.
According to a grand jury indictment, the suspects in the case are Joshua Robertson, Sage Greco, David Guzman, Cody Kerstiens, Jason Siew and Brian Richburg.
Prosecutors allege these men ran a criminal enterprise that would steal high-end cars from Georgia and Florida and then send them out to Colorado.
This operation involved into a marijuana ring where illegally cultivated cannabis was shipped out of Colorado back to the East Coast.
The indictment alleges that investigators were able to crack the case after Kerstiens came to an auto business and tried to sell a Chevrolet Tahoe with an altered VIN.
An ensuing tracker warrant on another stolen vehicle led investigators to Greco, Robertson and another man, who met at a Buffalo Wild Wings and were later discovered to also be driving stolen vehicles with altered VINs.
This led to a months-long surveillance operation that led to the discovery of multiple other stolen vehicles with professionally altered VINs, according to the indictment.
Kassandra Borth, the spokesperson for C-MATT, confirmed the following Denver metro area addresses were connected to the busts:
- 3900 E. 99th Ln., Thornton
- 8455 E. Umatilla St., Federal Heights
- 19289 E. Caspian Ln., Aurora