PHOENIX (KSAZ) – As the case against the freeway shooter falls apart, we’re learning this isn’t the first time a DPS case has unraveled before them. It happened several years ago during an investigation into a local salvage yard.
The case dubbed “Operation Tin Man” targeted a local company that DPS says was operating as a criminal organization. But years later the case is over, and now the State of Arizona and City of Phoenix are paying up big. This after the salvage company claims law enforcement officials botched an investigation.
DPS accused the salvage yard of accepting stolen cars and metal; the business owners say the accusations are false. After the company had sued, the state agreed to pay $180,000 to settle the civil case.
In 2013, DPS and Phoenix Police raided a scrap yard as part of Operation Tin Man. At the time authorities accused Hendrix Salvage of trafficking stolen property.
“It was kind of like an army style raid, they threw a lot of people on the ground, marched them outside and confiscated everything in the yard and all of the equipment,” said Lyle Hendrix.
Within a year, authorities returned all the seized property, and no one at the business was ever criminally charged. Now the city and state are paying up to the company. Hendrix sued, accusing them of excessive raid tactics, and saying they seized property without properly serving the forfeiture complaint.
The state and city agreed to pay $180,000 to settle the case out of court.
“I’m happy it’s over, the initial raid caused us grief, sleepless nights, a lot of customers fell off the board,” he said.
The AZ Department of Administration paid the settlement on behalf of DPS and said, “The settlement is a compromise of a disputed claim and is not to be construed as an admission of liability on the part of the state defendants, by whom liability is expressly denied.”
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