CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Man faces charges, deportation in catalytic converter theft operation

Oct 21, 2022, 7:30 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 11:23 am

Law enforcement personnel say a 47-year-old man is facing three felonies and deportation for his al...

Law enforcement personnel say a 47-year-old man is facing three felonies and deportation for his alleged role as the ringleader in a catalytic converter theft operation. Photo credit: Utah Attorney General's Office.

SALT LAKE CITY — A 47-year-old man is in custody and facing three felonies as well as deportation for his alleged involvement as a ringleader in a catalytic converter theft operation, according to Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes.

According to a press release from the Attorney General’s Office, Omar Martinez was arrested earlier this week by law enforcement personnel in Taylorsville. Subsequently, the Attorney General’s Office charged him for investigation of theft by receiving stolen property, money laundering and pattern of unlawful activity. All three are second-degree felonies. 

Detectives from the Attorney General’s Office, along with police from Taylorsville, Park City and South Salt Lake worked together in the arrest of Martinez.

Catalytic converter

The investigation found that Martinez was using his own business as a front for several sales of catalytic converters. Law enforcement says many were cut from vehicles in the community and then sold as scrap metal.

This caused financial difficulties for many in the community, according to the news release.

“Which represented significant financial loss for hundreds of Utahns in recent months,” the news release stated. 

According to the news release, investigators discovered Martinez’s business, Del Sol Auto Recycling, sold 3,556 converters to a recycling business. The news release states Martinez’s business was paid more than $915,000 in 423 transactions.

Currently, Martinez is in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The agency has agreed to consider the felony charges in addition to the immigration violation, according to the news release.

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Man faces charges, deportation in catalytic converter theft operation