By CRM Staff
Richmond Hill, Ontario -- March 31, 2014 -- Despite the name appearing in recent coverage on CTV, Town Auto Body has no connection to a Toronto-area collision repair facility recently subject to a police investigation titled "Project Tugboat." The name "Town Auto Body" appears on a sign shown on the CTV segment, but the facility under investigation is actually a completely different one occupying Town Auto Body's former premises.
Following a year-long drug and gun operation that spanned from Hamilton to the province of Quebec and down into New Jersey, York Regional police have charged 19 people, including owner Ertug Direkoglu, in connection to an alleged illegal operation run out of his Richmond Hill shop. Early morning raids last week resulted in the seizure of 13kg of cocaine worth over $500,000, 340 grams of harvested marijuana, and other assorted drugs in addition to $76,000 in cash.
Police also recovered an assortment of firearms believed to have been trafficked from the Toronto area into Hamilton, a stockpile including five restricted firearms, four assault rifles and a shotgun among a variety of ammunition.
In addition to various crimes related to drugs and illegal firearms, police believe that Direkoglu and his shop were involved in staged collisions for the purposes of fraud.
There has been some confusion surrounding the operators of the premises stemming from news footage displaying old signage on the building nearby that was previously occupied by Town Auto Body, located at 10427 Yonge St.
"I'm concerned that people may associate our shop with the one in the report," says Bob Porter, owner of Fix Auto Richmond hill o/a Town Auto Body. Porter notes that his facility is in no way associated with the accused's operation.
Porter moved his shop to its new location at 169 Centre St. E. three years ago. He says the confusion stems from an agreement concerning lease technicalities surrounding the signs with the landlord at his shop's previous location at 10427 Yonge St. in Richmond Hill. He's especially concerned that customers will jump to conclusions, not helped by the reality that if you type 'Town Auto Body" into Google's search engine, Porter's shop is still listed as being at the Yonge Street location. It is, however, listed correctly in Yellow Pages' directory.
Porter hopes to make clear that he and Fix Auto run honest, ethical operations, in contrast to the levied accusations and charges against the operators of the building that once housed his shop.
"We're not even remotely close to that operation, we don't deal drugs, we don't sell weapons and we don't stage accidents," he says.
For more on Fix Auto Richmond Hill, please visit FixAuto.com.