A former Bell County business man pleaded guilty on Thursday in U.S. Federal Court in London. John Slusher, 60, pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
If the plea agreement is accepted, Slusher will be sentenced to 37 months of imprisonment. He will also be forced to forfeit real property at 120 Kentucky Avenue in Pineville and several motorcycles.
Slusher will be forced to pay $386,000 on or before the day of his sentencing. He will also make a full financial disclosure to the United States and will assist the United States in gathering all financial information. He will also pay a fine of $7,500.
The plea agreement states the United States agrees to move for dismissal of all remaining counts, which include charges of possessing stolen vehicle parts.
The plea agreement states, as to the money laundering charge, Slusher agreed (along with the other defendants) to conduct financial transactions involving stolen motorcycles. The transaction involved the transfer of titles of the motorcycles. The bikes were allegedly stolen from bike events in Florida, South Carolina and South Dakota.
The plea agreement states Slusher operated a pawn shop in Pineville and received 20 of the stolen bikes disassembled and sold them and held them for sale after reassembling. The bikes were sold to “innocent” purchasers for value.
The plea agreement states Slusher, along with others, removed the parts of the stolen motorcycle that identified the vehicle identification number (VIN). They would replace each of the parts or mill out the numbers and replace them with aftermarket parts and/or replacement part numbers.
The motorcycles would then be registered in West Virginia and Kentucky as “kit bikes” or “assembled bikes” to further conceal the fact they were stolen, according to the plea agreement.
According to the plea agreement, Slusher’s involvement included 20 Harley Davidson motorcycles valued at approximately $386,000 and later sold 16 motorcycles to purchasers for a value of approximately $188,423.
Slusher was indicted on the charges nearly a year and a half ago.
Anthony Cloud can be contacted via email at email@example.com or by phone at 606-248-1010, ext. 208.