Michael Gordon for the Charlotte Observer recently reported that four North Carolina men have been arrested for operating a black market plywood ring that preyed on residential construction sites on both sides of the state line. During repeated overnight raids in Charlotte’s exurbs, the men stole thousands of dollars in plywood from construction sites and have each been charged with interstate transportation of stolen property conspiracy, says Gordon.

According to an affidavit by Nathan Peachey, a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, the defendants treated unguarded home sites like unlocked banks.

Their favorite hunting grounds included sprawling South Carolina neighborhoods under construction from Indian Land to Fort Mill, as well as other home building areas in Charlotte, Union County, and as far north as Concord, Peachey claims.

Morales Veneroso, according to prosecutors, was the big plywood buyer, paying the others between $15 and $25 for individual sheets that sold for $70 to $80 in area home improvement stores. He also told them what construction areas to hit for their contraband, prosecutors say. The court documents don’t say what he did with the lumber products he bought.

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