AZTEC — A Bloomfield man was arrested on Saturday for allegedly trying to sell a stolen pontoon boat for scrap metal.
Jeffery Whisenhunt, 49, was arrested over the weekend after the owner of a salvage yard reported Whisenhunt sold a 2005 Tracker pontoon boat valued at more than $5,000 to a scrap yard for $500.
The San Juan County Sheriff's Office said Whisenhunt sold or was in possession of thousands of dollars of stolen property from the Navajo Dam area, including four flat-bottomed boats and several pontoon boat trailers, which are each worth more than $1,000, said Deputy Gary Mauldin.
The sheriff's office said the property was stolen from a storage area in Navajo Dam.
The smaller, flat-bottomed boats were sold to CBH Trucking and Salvage, but the business didn't convert them into scrap, said spokeswoman Beth Utley.
Bobby Huish, of CBH Trucking and Salvage, 5422 East U.S. Highway 64, reported Whisenhunt to police on Saturday afternoon after Whisenhunt sold the business the pontoon boat.
"It wasn't junk," Huish said. "We purchased it and we called" the sheriff's office.
Deputies traced the boat sold to CBH to an Albuquerque woman who kept the boat in dry storage at Navajo Lake and hadn't made rental payments. They found evidence that Whisenhunt went to and from the storage area several times last week. Investigators also tracked down several people who said Whisenhunt hired them to deliver items to salvage yards.
Mauldin said Whisenhunt is now a suspect in several other larcenies in the Bloomfield area, and additional charges may be pending.
Whisenhunt was booked into jail early Sunday morning, and he is being held on a $600,000 bond, according to court records.
He has been charged with two counts of forgery and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, which are third-degree felonies, and four fourth-degree felonies for larceny.