Alleged auto-theft ring in Liberty County busted


Four suspects -- Billy Smith, 34, Jose Garnias, 23, Alicia McRee, 30, and 20-year-old Laura Wilganowski -- were all arrested after investigators received tips about two stolen trucks and several stolen auto parts, including wheels and tires, and a copper-melting operation in the Plum Grove area, according to a Liberty County sheriff's Office statement. A fifth person, 24-year-old Michael Carnley, has been identified as a person of interest.

Two more suspects were arrested Wednesday and detectives say more arrests could be made as the investigation is ongoing.

The investigation was conducted by the Liberty County Sheriff's Office Investigators, Liberty County Constable's Pct. 5 and Pct. 6 offices, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Montgomery County Constable Pct. 4 Office.

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