Ramey Pleads Guilty In Theft Of Heavy Equipment

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A man who authorities say was at the center of an organized vehicle theft ring entered guilty pleas in Federal Court on Thursday.

Prosecutor Gary Humble said Dale Ramey, 49, faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.

He said in 2004 Ramey, who is from Catoosa County, Ga., was found with several stolen pieces of heavy equipment.

Ramey has been free on bond since his arrest, but he was taken back into custody after a hearing before Magistrate Bill Carter.

Joseph Brent Starnes of the probation office said Ramey has been uncooperative with his North Georgia probation officer, including failing to find a job and lying to her by saying he has been working with the FBI.

Ramey's attorney said it is difficult for a trucker to find a job with the present economy and with a felony record. He said Ramey has offered to work with the FBI.

Magistrate Carter said Ramey had been a questionable candidate for bond in the first place, but the probation office at that time had recommended it.

Ramey also faces theft charges in Ringgold and Chattanooga.

A charge of making a terrorist threat brought by Walker County authorities was dismissed.

Probation officer Starnes said it was believed that Ramey had weapons at his home, but he said a search was never conducted.

In March of last year, over $313,000 in stolen heavy equipment was found at Ramey's farm on Three Notch Road.
Law enforcement agencies said they recovered seven pieces of heavy equipment at the Ramey residence.

The heavy equipment consisted of three John Deere tractors, three Caterpillar dozers, and one International dump truck.

Sheriff Summers said the equipment recovered was stolen from Whitfield County, Hamilton County, Chattanooga, and Manchester.

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