ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis woman who once ran a chop shop will spend several years behind bars and owes $40,000 in restitution.

A federal judge sentenced Heather Marty, 29, to four and half years in prison on Friday. Marty pled guilty to running a chop shop earlier this year, holding onto stolen vehicles with the intention of disassembling them and selling parts.

According to her plea, Marty used a warehouse in north St. Louis to house, store and disassemble stolen vehicles.

From Oct. 2021 to July 2022, St. Louis officers and detectives found a total of 12 stolen vehicles in or near the building. That included three motorcycles, five pickup trucks, three cars and one SUV, per the plea agreement.

In January 2022, authorities spotted Marty at the Casino Queen in East St. Louis in a reported stolen truck, leading to her arrest. Inside the truck, a detective found nine license plates, two of which belonged to stolen vehicles. 

An investigation revealed that in the week before her arrest, Marty had been in the area of four thefts and one attempted theft of catalytic converters, as well as four burglaries and an auto theft.

Since then, Marty pleaded guilty to one count of transportation of a stolen vehicle and one count of operating a chop shop. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and FBI led the investigation into Mary’s chop shop.