Title 18 U.S.C. § 2322 makes it an offense to knowingly own,
operate, maintain, or control a chop shop. The term "chop shop" is defined
any building, lot, facility, or other structure or premise where one or more
persons engage in receiving, concealing, destroying, disassembling,
reassembling, or storing any passenger motor vehicle part which has been
unlawfully obtained in order to alter, counterfeit, deface, destroy,
falsify, forge, obliterate, or remove the identity, including the vehicle
identification number or derivative thereof, of such vehicle or vehicle part
to distribute, sell, or dispose of such vehicle or vehicle part in
Because motor vehicle parts tend to lose their identity as stolen
property after being severed from the vehicle, and because chop shop
often dispose of stolen parts locally, rather than in interstate commerce,
evidence of interstate distribution of stolen parts is difficult to obtain.
Consequently, 18 U.S.C. § 2322 has been rarely used. Chop shop
be prosecutable under 18 U.S.C. §§ 511, 2313, and 2321.
[cited in USAM 9-61.700]