Sheriff: man arrested for operating chop shop

Published: Jul. 2, 2018 at 1:05 PM EDT
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Travis Lamont Brown, 34. (Source: Lexington County Detention Center)
Travis Lamont Brown, 34. (Source: Lexington County Detention Center)

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Lexington County Sheriff's Department detectives in cooperation with the North Charleston Police Department and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) arrested a 34-year-old Gaston man on charges that the man possessed four 2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS cars worth a combined total of $160,000 that were reported stolen on Jan. 21 from a Chevrolet dealership on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston.

Travis Lamont Brown is also being charged with operating a chop shop at an auto sales business on Pine Plain Road near Gaston.

Brown was arrested on Feb. 26 on arrest warrants on four counts of possessing a stolen motor vehicle, one count of operating a chop shop and one count of unlawfully possessing a firearm.

Brown was released from the Lexington County Detention Center on Feb. 28 after Brown posted bail totaling $250,000.

Sheriff's detectives obtained the arrest warrants for Brown as a result of a joint investigation that was conducted by the Sheriff's Department, North Charleston Police Department and SLED.

Arrest warrants allege that on Feb. 26 investigators, who were acting on a tip, went to Brown's Auto Sales at 151 Pine Plain Road, Gaston, as part of a chop shop investigation, Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said.

Investigators found that Brown possessed four 2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS cars that were reported stolen from Crews Chevrolet, 8199 Rivers Avenue, North Charleston.

Metts said Brown altered the vehicle identification numbers on the four Chevrolet Camaros so that the vehicle identifications numbers matched the numbers for inoperable motor vehicles stored at the business.

An arrest warrant further alleges that Brown stored and altered vehicle identification numbers on motor vehicles, which Brown knew had been reported stolen, at the auto sales business, Metts said.

In addition, an arrest warrant alleges that Brown unlawfully possessed one Taurus 9-mm handgun, Metts said.

Under South Carolina law, Brown cannot lawfully possess a firearm because Brown was convicted on March 1, 2006 of a drug offense that was a violent felony.

The case remains under investigation.

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