A man who authorities said organized and operated a tractor-trailer theft ring in Maryland was sentenced to 15 years in prison, according to a news release from the state’s attorney’s office.
The defendant, Adam W. Gensler, 33, of Brooklyn, Md., was convicted in August 2015 of one count each of theft over $100,000, conspiracy to commit theft, conspiracy in the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, and theft of a motor vehicle, following the conclusion of a four-day trial in Howard County Circuit Court. He was sentenced on Jan. 28.
The release stated that Gensler and another man, Cokie Joe Gopshes, 44, were caught “redhanded” on July 2014, stealing a tractor trailer loaded with potatoes from the parking lot of Capital Produce Co. in Jessup, Md.
Leading up to his arrest, Gensler and his personal vehicles were under surveillance using GPS tracking devices installed by police. That surveillance continued through the evening of the robbery. Prosecutors told the jury Gopshes stole the tractor-trailer at Gensler’s behest and drove it to a secluded industrial lot in South Baltimore where Gensler and others could strip down the expensive rig, valued at over $100,000, for its tires, parts and scrap metal.
Howard County Circuit Judge William V. Tucker also placed Gensler on three years of supervised probation after his release.
Gopshes was convicted of similar charges last summer, and faces a maximum 25 years in prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 26.
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