FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2008
Contact: Don Cookson
Bureau of Motor Vehicles Office of Investigations
Executes Search Warrant at Belfast Used Car Dealer
One man arrested, charged with operating car dealership without a license
Belfast- The Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ Office of Investigations executed a search warrant at 10:00 a.m. this morning at a used car dealership at 183 Main Street in Belfast. As a result, Matteo Adragna, age 49, of Belfast, was arrested and brought to Waldo County Jail. Mr. Adragna was later released on bail.
“We were told there was a man operating an unlicensed used car dealership at that location,” said Mark Silk, Senior Detective with the BMV’s Office of Investigations. “We were able to get a search warrant based on information provided to us by the Belfast Police Department and Detective Michael McFadden, as well as information uncovered by BMV Detective Scott Robideau. As a result of the search conducted this morning with the help of the Belfast Police Department, we found sufficient evidence to charge Mr. Adragna with operating an unlicensed car dealership.” Investigators seized a 2000 model year Dodge Ram pickup truck, along with a Massachusetts dealer plate, believed to have been issued to a Massachusetts company called Rowley Motor Car, and several pages of printed records detailing the alleged sale of used vehicles by Mr. Adragna in Belfast. Silk says additional charges may be forthcoming as a result of the search warrant carried out today.
“Obviously, we take this very seriously,” said David Guilmette, Director of the BMV’s Office of Investigations. “For us, this is a consumer protection issue, plain and simple, because anybody who buys a car from an unlicensed dealer has no legal recourse available to them in the event of problems with that vehicle down the road.” Guilmette says putting an unlicensed dealer out of business is also good for Maine’s business community. “When you have legitimate dealers working hard and playing by the rules, it’s not fair for them to have to compete with someone who operates outside the law.” Guilmette also noted the collaborative nature of today’s operation. “We worked very closely with the Belfast Police Department on this, and we’re thankful for their assistance in all phases of this operation.”
Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap had high praise for his detectives. “They are out there every day, working hard to protect the people of Maine. Officers like Detective Robideau are truly a credit to their profession, and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles is very fortunate to have these fully certified law enforcement personnel within this organization. Working together with other state and local law enforcement agencies, they will continue to provide invaluable service to the people of this state.”