Attorney General Announces Grand Jury Indictment Of Western Slope Motorcycle Chop-Shop Operator

DENVER — The Colorado Attorney General’s Office announced today the Statewide Grand Jury has indicted Edward Degner (DOB: 4/28/1954) on a series of felonies for his role in a statewide motorcycle chop shop and theft scheme.

According to the indictment, Degner is suspected of committing 18 different crimes related to his operation between April 2004 and April 2007, including 14 counts of first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft.

Attorneys for the state sought the indictment after investigators from the Colorado State Patrol, the Attorney General’s Office, the Connecticut State Police, the Arapahoe Community College Police, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the Rifle Police Department, the Denver Police Department and the Colorado Springs Police, working in conjunction with analysts from HIDTA, discovered Degner’s motorcycle chop shop activity.

According to the indictment, Degner used his business, Ed’s Custom Painting in Rifle, to facilitate the theft of motorcycles. Through his business Degner engaged in a motorcycle theft and vehicle identification number-switching scheme of Harley Davidson, American Iron Horse and other motorcycle brands. The motorcycles that passed through Degner’s chop shop, according to the indictment, were stolen from the Denver metropolitan area and other parts of Colorado.

During his criminal activities, Degner concealed the true identity of the motorcycles by destroying the motorcycles’ vehicle identification numbers and other identifying marks and re-stamping fraudulent VINs onto the vehicle. Additionally, Degner sometimes concealed the true identity of the motorcycles by altering the paint job. Further, Degner produced and submitted fraudulent documents to state officials in attempts to legitimize the false VINs and hide the identity of the stolen motorcycles. As part of the overall scheme, the forged documents falsely portrayed that the chopped motorcycles were built by Degner from secondary parts or built as homemade vehicles.

Degner’s next appearance in Denver County District Court will be on May 11.

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