Four Evansville Men Indicted in Interstate Transportation of Stolen Vehicles Scheme
EVANSVILLE—Josh J. Minkler, the United States Attorney, announced today that a Federal Grand Jury sitting in Evansville returned indictments against four Evansville men for their role in an interstate ring involving the theft of construction equipment and other vehicles. Those charged include:
- Andrew R. Elpers, 37
- Thomas W. Elpers, 62
- Jordan T. Wedel, 30
- Jason H. Habermel, 43
The indictment charges Andrew R. Elpers with 32 counts of interstate transportation of stolen motor vehicles and one count of money laundering. Thomas W. Elpers is charged with two counts of possession of stolen motor vehicles. Jordan T. Wedel is charged with one count of possession of stolen motor vehicles. Jason Habermel is charged with four counts of money laundering.
This matter was investigated by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, Evansville Police Department and Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Department.
The indictment alleges that between April 1, 2012, and December 29, 2014, Andrew Elpers unlawfully transported in interstate commerce thirty-two stolen motor vehicles, many of which were vehicles used for excavation and construction. The indictment also charges Andrew Elpers with money lauding in that he traded a stolen motor vehicle and used the proceeds for the purchase of another vehicle. The indictment alleges that Thomas W. Elpers received, possessed or had in his possession, nine motor vehicles that were stolen and that he aided and abetted others in doing so. The indictment further alleges that Jordan T. Wedel possessed five motor vehicles that were stolen and that he aided and abetted others in doing so. Finally, the indictment alleges that Jason H. Habermel engaged in money laundering by arranging for the sale and delivery of stolen vehicles to the Union County Kentucky Fiscal Court.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Shellenbarger, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Andrew Elpers faces a term of imprisonment of up to 10 years for each count of interstate transport of stolen motor vehicles and up to 20 years for money laundering. Thomas W. Elpers, Wedel and Habermel each face up to 10 years if convicted.
An initial hearing will be held in Evansville, Indiana, before a U.S. Magistrate Judge, at a later date.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.