Fox 10: Phoenix and state sued after Operation Tin Man

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,