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Ragans Auto owner, son indicted for speedometer reports
SoVaNow.com / May 05, 2016Malcolm “Mac” Ragans Sr., owner of a Riverdale vehicle sales and service business bearing his name, was indicted Thursday by a Halifax County grand jury of 16 felony and misdemeanor counts stemming from the alleged falsification of speedometer calibration readings over a four-month span.
Also charged was Mac “Chip” Ragans Jr., who was indicted on four felony and five misdemeanor charges.
Indictments are not findings of guilt, but rather a determination by the grand jury that sufficient evidence exists to bring a case to trial.
The evidence against Ragans Sr. and Jr. was presented by Special Agent Brandon May with the Virginia State Police. The indictments show that the events in question took place on four dates — Nov. 24, 2015, Dec. 4, 2015, Dec. 16, 2015 and Feb. 16, 2016.
On each of the dates, Ragans Sr. is alleged to have committed two felony offenses of forging a motor vehicle speedometer calibration and attempting to commit perjury. He also was indicted on two misdemeanor offenses each time: attempting to obstruct justice, and unlawfully obtaining by false pretenses cash in an amount less than $200.
Ragans Jr., also a member of family-owned Mac Ragans Auto Sales & Service, was indicted on four felony counts of forging a motor speedometer calibration, and five misdemeanor counts of notarizing false speedometer reports. The dates that the alleged offenses took place match up with the charges against his father, with one addition: a notary report submitted on Jan. 27, 2016.
Forgery and perjury are both Class 5 felony offenses, which can carry up to 20 year prison sentences.
Ragans, reached at his Riverdale auto dealership Thursday afternoon, professed his innocence.
“The only thing I was doing was trying to help someone,” he said. “They [customers] got a ticket and I was trying to help them. That’s all it comes from. That’s all it amounts to.”
He said he was aware of the State Police investigation, which led to the execution of the search warrant by VSP agents who showed up at his business some six to eight weeks ago, Ragans said. “All of a sudden they walked into the place with a search warrant and that was it,” he said.
Ragans said he talked to an attorney after the raid but was unaware of any further movement in the investigation until hearing about the grand jury indictments.
“I hadn’t done anything because I hadn’t heard anything about it,” he said. “I didn’t know how far they were going to go with it.”
The search warrant is under seal in Halifax court.
This story will be updated.
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