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Plea possible in chop-shop arrests

Posted: October 15, 2009 10:13 p.m.
Updated: October 16, 2009 8:00 a.m.
A retired auto-theft detective and two other men arrested in July for allegedly running an auto-theft ring in Canyon Country are discussing plea negotiations with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, a prosecutor said this week.

“If we can get a good resolution to the case that meets the interest of justice and satisfies the financial losses that occurred by the victims, then that’s something we’re interested in looking into,” Deputy District Attorney Alexander Karkanen said Wednesday.

Nellson Vels, 51, is a retired Los Angeles Police Department detective and was the owner of Billet Works Performance and the president of a local muscle-car group when he was arrested, according to a Los Angeles Police Department report.

He appeared at San Fernando Superior Court on Wednesday along with co-worker Daryl Perkins, 50, and a former customer, John Landon, 36. The men were arrested July 1 and charged with felony counts of operating a chop shop, vehicle theft and receiving stolen property, according to court files.

The defendants waived their rights to a preliminary hearing, and Judge Dalila Lyons ordered them to return to Department C at the court for their arraignment Oct. 28.


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