WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A man is now being sentenced to prison for a major car theft ring uncovered in 2021, police said the 5th suspect is to be sentenced, with others pending.

Nolan Kerry pleaded guilty in 89th district court Thursday, Aug 3., to engaging in organized criminal activity and got a 3-year sentence, plus 6 months in jail, for an I.D. Fraud charge that was filed after the other arrest.

Sentences for other defendants in the case range from 4 to 8 years. The investigation began in the early months of 2021 when police said there was a big spike in reports of stolen vehicles. Detectives asked patrol officers to notify them any time a stolen vehicle suspect was arrested so they could interview them.

One arrest led them to investigate a business in the 500 block of Lee, where numerous suspects were ultimately identified. Kerry was arrested by the swat team and police say in addition to stolen cars and parts stripped from stolen vehicles, more stolen items were found in Kerry’s home on Cottonwood. Police found: furniture, air conditioners, tires, cigarettes, flat screens, and other items stolen from railroad cars. Police said Kerry also had more than a dozen warrants out of Kaufman County.

Other suspects and information on the theft ring were obtained from calls Kerry made while in jail. The calls included talks about who might be the informant police were getting information from, and advice for all the participants to change their phones to conceal messages.

After interviews were conducted, police and DPS agents learned a major part of the operation involved stripping parts off stolen vehicles and putting them on vehicles legitimately purchased at auctions. One suspect told police vehicles would be “cut down” in the shop and be renumbered with fake vehicle identification numbers.

Another also told that Kerry would place orders to other defendants to get specific models of trucks and cars. One suspect identified 8 people involved in the operation and at least three locations of criminal activities–the lee and cottonwood addresses– and one on east Scott. Police said as investigators closed in on the operation, some of the stolen merchandise was burned. Besides numerous counts of engaging in organized criminal activity, Kerry also has numerous previous arrests for burglary and forgery.