Long Beach brothers indicted for allegedly running stolen catalytic converter trafficking ring
Two brothers from Long Beach have been indicted for allegedly running a multimillion-dollar trafficking ring of stolen catalytic converters.
Andrew, 25, and Alan Pawelsky, 28, were arraigned in court for 81 counts, including money laundering charges and numerous counts of criminal possession of stolen property.
It claims that the brothers made around $170 million in just two years by purchasing stolen catalytic converters - and then selling the expensive metals inside. They allegedly extracted the metals at their Island Park recycling plants.
Neighbors were surprised that the brothers are accused of running a scheme that helped fuel the black market for catalytic converters, with stolen car parts from as far away as California.
"I live right here - I guess these guys could have come down the street and hacked my car apart," says Jonathan Paggi.
The indictments come two weeks after the brothers sued Nassau County for shutting down their businesses in December.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and are due back in court on June 1.
An attorney for the brothers wrote, "Predicated upon the fact that the investigation was ongoing for a period of 18 months and the paucity of evidence it produced, I am rather skeptical of the success of this prosecution."