2 charged with running Detroit auto chop shop

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office has charged two men accused of operating a chop shop and a marijuana-growing operation in Detroit, officials said Wednesday.

Calvin Lamont Pickett Jr., 43, of Bloomfield Hills and Fadi Abi-Fakhreddine, 58, of Ypsilanti are scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in 36th District Court in Detroit on the charges, they said.

A Detroit police photo from March 3, 2022, shows the inside of an auto parts store on Schaefer Highway where its two owners are accused of running a chop shop. Officials allege the men used fraudulent paperwork to cover up the crushing of stolen vehicles.

The prosecutor's office said it has charged each of the men with a count of conducting a criminal enterprise, 12 counts of intent to pass a false vehicle title and 12 counts of receiving and concealing stolen property.

If convicted, they each face up to 20 years in prison for conducting a criminal enterprise, 10 years for each count of intent to pass a false title and up to five years for each count of receiving and concealing stolen property.

Authorities said the charges stem from a Nov. 25, 2019, report of a vehicle stolen from a home in the 13800 block of Mecca near Plymouth Road and Schaefer Highway on Detroit's west side.

The investigation led police to an auto parts store that allegedly ran as a chop shop in the 8850 block of Schaefer Highway, about a mile from where the vehicle had been reported stolen.

Investigators found fraudulent paperwork at the business that was being used to scrap stolen vehicles. Police arrested both defendants at the scene Thursday.

They accuse the two men of using fraudulent paperwork to cover up car thefts and crushing stolen vehicles.