owner of Mulberry, Fla.-based T&M Salvage Inc. and three
employees have been accused of theft and dealing in stolen
An investigation began
in April when three men charged with stealing 77 citrus
trailers since 2010 told law enforcement officials that they
sold several of the trailers to T&M Salvage, which also
does business as T&M Iron & Metals (
amm.com, April 15).
Sheriffs Office said this week that it had arrested
Adelina McCulley, owner of T&M Salvage, business manager
Clarence McCulley, metal buyer Bernhard Powell and scale
operator John Richmond and charged them with unlawful purchase
of a motor vehicle, grand theft and organized dealing in stolen
property. Clarence McCulley also was charged with one count of
selling or transferring a motor vehicle without a title.
Florida state law
requires metal recyclers to obtain proof of ownership when
purchasing motor vehicles, but the Polk County Sheriffs
Office claimed that business records at T&M referred to the
purchases as unprepared steel.
The recycler said it
had no comment on the matter.
The Polk County
Sheriffs Office has been investigating a rash of stolen
trailers and got its first break in the case when a vehicle
equipped with a tracking device was stolen. The investigation