Three men have been sentenced to prison and ordered to pay restitution for their involvement in a conspiracy to buy and sell stolen vehicles.
Ernest L. Cook, age 61 of Mullins and the owner of a construction company, was found guilty of purchasing stolen equipment such as trackhoes, bulldozers, graders, dump trucks, excavators, wheel loaders and tractors from two other men involved in the scheme.
Larry Garfield Carter, age 54 of Raeford, North Carolina and William Clayton Meadows, age 46 of Jupiter, Florida were each sentenced to 12 months and a day imprisonment. Carter was ordered to pay $167,284 in restitution and Meadows $254,308 in restitution.
Carter and Meadows stole the equipment and Cook purchased it below the market value then sold it at a discount. Cook was sentenced to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay $673,322 in restitution to the victims.
Most of the equipment was stolen by Carter and Meadows primarily from North and South Carolina.