Two New York men have been arrested in what is being called an interstate recycling theft ring that allegedly shipped pilfered plastics to China.
New Jersey State Police arrested Yih Tan of Staten Island and Rog Wu of Brooklyn for allegedly buying and grinding stolen plastics at a Bayonne, N.J., recycling facility before sending the material overseas.
The alleged theft ring involved what police describe as “various individuals and groups” that stole plastic storage and transportation containers used by pharmaceutical retailers, bakeries and food distributors.
“It is believed that some of these individuals would then use the profits from the transactions to purchase drugs for personal use. At the facility, Tan and Wu would shred the plastics into small pieces called grinds. The grinds were then sold and shipped to businesses in China that would use the material for other products. During an undercover operation, detectives were able to sell plastic products to the facility with no questions asked,” police alleged.
Both men were charged with receiving stolen property and fencing, according to the New Jersey State Police.
Authorities seized more than 45,000 pounds of ground plastic valued at $67,000 as well as $20,000 in cash as part of their investigation.'
“It took detectives several days working around the clock to sort through the evidence, which was enough to fill two tractor trailer box containers,” police said.