By now you’ve probably heard the reports of Homeland Security officials seizing Land Rovers from owners across the country, owners that were under the impression that their vehicles were purchased legally and are were in accordance with U.S. safety and emissions standards.
Authorities claim that the seizure of Land Rover Defender 90s and 110s is part of an ongoing investigation involving the illegal importation of vehicles to the United States. To date, 40 Land Rover Defender vehicles have been seized, with little official word or explanation given other than the vehicles were purchased illegally.
Last year, 20 Defender models were seized from a home in suburban North Carolina from a chiropractor named Aaron Richardet who was running an illegal importation business from his house. Many in the Land Rover community believe that this latest sting is part of a further investigation into “Doc Aaron’s” operation.
Many owners contend that their vehicle models date back to the 80s or mid-90s, a period of time when Defenders were sold legally in the United States. Despite providing appropriate VIN numbers, federal agents contend that vehicles in question are being seized, and in some cases are actually newer than their owner’s claim.
This whole situation is pretty messy, and federal investigations have not been very transparent with their motives. It’s safe to say that the disgruntled owners will look to take whatever action they can as more information becomes available.
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