Prosecutor Confirms Criminal Probe Into Scrap Dealer

FOP: Officers Not Under Investigation

More than two years after police first raided scrap yards across Indianapolis, authorities have confirmed a grand jury is reviewing the case.

Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi would not elaborate, but said a grand jury has begun hearing from testimony and reviewing evidence related to an investigation into OmniSource and business at its five Indianapolis locations, 6News' Jack Rinehart reported.

Organized crime investigators, who seized scrap metal, business records and several hundred thousands dollars in cash from the businesses in February 2008, said the company knowingly purchased stolen copper, aluminum and other metals.

More than 50 Indianapolis police officers who had been working at OmniSource while off-duty were told they could no longer work at the facility.

Fraternal Order of Police union President Sgt. Bill Owensby those officers are not part of the criminal investigation.

"My information comes directly from the prosecutor himself. There's no officers under criminal investigation regarding the OmniSource investigation," he said.

Attorneys for OmniSource said the company welcomes closure to the lingering investigation.

"We've done our own investigation during that time period, talked to witnesses, looked at evidence and we're confident there's no evidence of a crime," said attorney Jason Barclay.

OmniSource, a subsidiary of Steel Dynamics, has 10 Indiana locations. It also operates in Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

High prices for aluminum, copper and other drove the demand for scrap metal, but prices have fallen dramatically in recent years, curbing demand.

In 2008, a study by the University of Indianapolis found that metal thefts of aluminum siding, air conditioning units, automobile catalytic converters and other metals cost Indianapolis property owners $1 million a month.