Arizona Attorney General

Mark Brnovich

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STATE V. HECTOR FUENTES ET AL AKA

Metal Management: Sims Metal Management (SMM) is a multi-national metals and electronics recycling company. SMM buys obsolete metal from customers who generate metal waste. SMM then processes ferrous metal for resale via a variety of methods. After numerous complaints against SMM, TPD conducted an undercover operation involving SMM, with an undercover officer delivering cars, each with more obvious indicia of being stolen. The sting culminated in the undercover agent delivering a car that the UC outright told SMM employees was stolen. The investigation showed that SMM employees knowingly accepted and crushed each car delivered by the officer, despite the indicia of theft and stolen VINs. TPD, DPS, ADOT, and PPD executed a search warrant on August 23, 2011 at SMM and discovered an additional five stolen vehicles and seizing 50 boxes of titles and sales tickets. In total, 17 stolen vehicles were processed by SMM. In settlement of the criminal case, Sims provided $150,000 to the Arizona Auto Theft Task Force to fund a two-year statewide program to implement training and accountable procedures to prevent receiving of stolen property by heavy metal crushers and recyclers.