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Friday, March 26, 2010

Cop Cuts Cars Sold Stolen Vehicles Gets Cut

Polk County Police Officer Charged with Running a Chop Shop
and Obstructing a Federal Investigation


Officer Allegedly Tipped Off Targets That an Individual was an Informant

Police Officer Mark Sparks

Mark HOWELL SPARKS, 39, of Buchanan, Georgia, has been indicted by a federal grand jury and arraigned this afternoon on charges that he
operated and maintained a chop shop, possessed vehicles and vehicle parts with altered, obliterated and removed vehicle identification numbers (VINs), and obstructed a federal investigation. 

The indictment comes after an investigation over a one year period by the Northwest Georgia Criminal Enterprise Task Force (NGCETF). The Task Force issued warrants for 11 people Tuesday and Wednesday that were involved in a stolen vehicle ring operating in Floyd and Polk counties.  Amongst the 11 were other law enforcement officers including Michael Robinson and Kenneth Gravett, both of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, according to Rome Newswire. com.

Marvin Cheatwood
Marvin-Cheatwood If the allegations are true, Sparks used his badge for his personal gain while the citizens suffered.  Allegedly, Markie liked selling it by the piece.  He would arrange for the purchase of stolen vehicles, then take ‘em apart and sell the parts for a lot more than one could get for the entire hole.  They call that a chop shop.

“Officer Mark Sparks was running a chop shop” according to allegations"

 “This law enforcement officer is charged with taking profits in the underground trade of chopped auto parts. Worse, he further betrayed the trust placed in him, telling informants how to lie, tipping off targets of the investigation, and using his police knowledge to hide criminal activity.” said US Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.

The Feds allege The indictment officer Mark Sparks was running a chop shop along with two other dirty cops.  Further, they have him possessing vehicles or vehicle parts with altered, obliterated or removed VIN numbers. 

And then, of course, they have the good officer on obstruction of justice, as good officer Mark Sparks tipped other crooks off in the area about police investigations.  Specifically, Sparks knew an under-cover informant was recording some of his chums.  He advised the mark to shut his mouth about certain persons in the biz, likely himself.

 Margie-Fields Margery Fields
As it turns out, a large portion of the Polk County Police Department may have been in on the crooked cop caper.  According to an article on the computer bulletin board Topix, an entire department is allegedly dirty:

1.Mark Sparks, for violation of oath of office, obstruction, theft by receiving (motor vehicle). Until his arrest on Tuesday, Oct. 6, Sparks was a police officer with the Polk County Police Department.

2.Marvin Cheatwood, for theft by receiving stolen property (motor vehicle).

 Bradley Miller
Bradley-Miller 3.Michael Robinson was charged by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms with federal weapons violations. Robinson is a former deputy with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

4.Bradley Miller, for two counts of theft by receiving stolen property (motor vehicle) and altering a vehicle identification number.

5.John Summerville Sr., for two counts of sale and distribution of a schedule 2 drug, operating a chop shop, theft by receiving (motor vehicle) and forgery in the second degree.
6.Margie Fields, for altering a vehicle identification number and operating a chop shop.

Alan Camp
Alan-Camp1  7.Alan Camp, for altering a vehicle identification number and operating a chop shop.

8.Kenneth Gravett, for insurance fraud. Gravett is a former deputy with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

For over a year, the NGCETF, which is led by the FBI, has been investigating a criminal enterprise based in Polk County involved in the trafficking of stolen vehicles and altering vehicle identification numbers in order to resell stolen vehicles for large profits.
Richard Haney

All persons should be presumed innocent till proven guilty in a court of law…the above are nothing more than allegations.  But if true, they speak to the rotting to the core of the law- enforcement structure. 

I suspect there may be a similar problem with a certain police force in a Denver suburb.  A local automobile dealership of used vehicles says they cannot account for 200 vehicles and got little cooperation from county detectives.  We shall see soon enough.

“At the end of the month you will be lucky if you are still a virgin” if you get convicted"

Hey Mark, if you get convicted of these charges you are going to have a rough time where they are going to send you.  If you know how to fight you might do all right with the first cat they send to bring you into line.  But then, the prison boys will send two.  If that does not work they will send five.  At the end of the month you will be lucky if you are still a virgin.  It will get worse from there.

Joey Hughes
Joey-HughesYou stand for the proposition that crooked cops pay a high price when they get caught, just as the people who trusted you paid a high price when their vehicles disappeared, some uninsured.  Insurance rates begin to rise.  Our faith in law enforcement is eroded ever so much. 

The violator now will be violated.  Mark Sparks says he didn’t do any of this.  He entered his not guilty plea in front of Judge Walter E. Johnson.  He deserves the right to be presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.  Mistakes happen, let’s hope for Marky Sparks it is all a big mistake.  If he really is guilty let’s hope he survives his prison sentence.  Cons don’t like child molesters and crooked cops.

Richard Todd-Haney
Richard-Todd-Haney If these allegations are true Cop Mark Sparks has violated everything we hold to be good and true in law enforcement.  He deserves to be punished severely, for not only was he stealing our cars, he was violating the public trust we have in our police force. 

It is guys like this that give every honest cop a black eye and make their job more difficult. 
Atlanta FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Moore said, “This matter was aggressively pursued by the FBI and its law enforcement partners in spite of efforts to obstruct our investigation. It is paramount that law enforcement maintain the trust of the public in which it serves. These charges serve as a reminder that nobody is above the law.”

“If you know something about Mark Sparks or the chop shop he allegedly operated, come forward"

Assistant United States Attorney William L. McKinnon, Jr. is prosecuting the case.  If you know something about Mark Sparks or the chop shop he allegedly operated, come forward.  Do your civic duty.  There may be something in this for you, who knows.  The government may not be done with their investigation.  They

“For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is”

Some of the information in this article was obtained from Counter Intelligence Jobs, Net News

Let’s get the scum off the street including Atlanta policeman Mark Sparks and others who may have been running a chop shop, if the allegations are true.  These people prey on car dealers and private persons while violating the public trust we put in our law enforcement officers!

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