Eugene man gets 27 years for running chop shop

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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- A Eugene man will spend more than 27 years in prison after being convicted of running a car theft ring in the woods outside rural Cheshire.

The sentence Friday in Lane County Circuit Court is even longer than the 20 years prosecutors had asked for. The Register-Guard reports (http://bit.ly/ofldMp) 40-year-old Dean Sanders is not eligible for early release.

Police raided Sanders' property in May after an informant told them about a "chop shop," where car thieves dismantled stolen vehicles to sell the parts for cash. Investigators found at least 10 vehicles on the property.

Sanders denied involvement in the operation, but a jury found him guilty of 14 counts of possessing stolen vehicles and 10 counts of vehicle theft. His lawyer said the sentence was excessive for a property crime.