(London, Ky.) - A local man who allegedly helped lead a multi-state motorcycle theft ring is preparing to plead guilty in federal court.
Robert Jason Chapman, 31, of Cleves, was among nine people arrested in 2011 for being part of a multi-state operation to steal and re-sell motorcycles. The group allegedly made $2.5 million off the illegal activity between 2000 and 2008.
On Friday in U.S. District Court in London, Kentucky, Chapman motioned to change his plea from not guilty to guilty, The Ashland Independent newspaper reports. A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Thursday.
Christina Bannigan, 31, also of Cleves, is also among the accused. She pleaded guilty last month to a single charge of money laundering and will be sentenced May 23.
The seven other defendants are from various parts of Kentucky. Their cases are currently on pace for trial February 19.
New details have also emerged in the case thanks to documents filed with Bannigan’s plea agreement. The Independent reports that several of the defendants agreed to transfer the titles of motorcycles that had been stolen from biker events in various states, including Florida, South Carolina and South Dakota.
Chapman allegedly sold the stolen bikes or their parts to “innocent purchasers” through his company, TCB Customs.
Along with two other defendants, Chapman is charged with threatening witnesses to try to keep them from testifying before the federal grand jury investigating the theft ring.