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Brooksville chop shop disassembled

Hernando Today staff report
Published:   |   Updated: December 18, 2013 at 09:29 AM

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BROOKSVILLE - Sheriff's deputies have arrested a Brooksville couple they accuse of running a chop shop at their Putnam Street home.

Deputies on Monday, responding to a report of a recovered stolen vehicle at 16166 Putnam St., found additional vehicles, a trailer and lawn equipment that had been reported stolen in Pasco and Hillsborough counties. One of the vehicles had all of its interior parts taken out and stored in a shed on the property, sheriff's officials said.

Detectives said Jeffrey Ross later told them he knew the vehicles were stolen, and that he helped disassemble them.

Ross's girlfriend, Jessica Kortepeter, 33, acknowledged the couple agreed to store the items in exchange for methamphetamine, sheriff's investigators said.

Ross, 39, was arrested on charges of owning and operating a chop shop, two counts of grand theft auto and grand theft. He was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Kortepeter, 33, was booked on a charge of dealing in stolen property. Her bail was set at $5,000.

Court records show Ross was convicted on three counts of dealing in stolen property in 2011 and served time in jail.

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