5 Arrested In Crime Ring Led By Man Nicknamed Willy Wonka

August 31, 2018 - 8:23 am

SALEM, Mass. (WTIC and AP) - Massachusetts authorities say they have shut down a multistate ATM and vehicle theft ring run by a career criminal known as Willy Wonka or ``the Chocolate Man.''  

The six-month investigation that led to five arrests was called Operation Golden Ticket and involved 50 law enforcement agencies.  

William ``Willy Wonka'' Rodriguez was held on $500,000 bail after pleading not guilty Thursday to 60 charges connected to crimes in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut that netted more than $300,000 in property and currency.  

Nelson Rodriguez was held on $60,000 bail after pleading not guilty to 44 charges.  

They aren't related.  

A third defendant was held on $1,000 bail. Two suspects remain at large.  

William Rodriguez's attorney agreed with bail. Nelson Rodriguez's attorney said his client deserves the ``dignity'' of going home on bail. 

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