A man involved in a ‘chop shop’ operation in East Lancashire has been jailed for his role that saw more than £300,000 worth of cars taken apart.

Gvido Trankalis, 24,and Max Lund-Wright, 22, were both involved in the operation that ran out of a lock-up in Alder Bank, Nelson, as well as a second building in Burnley, along with two other people.

Holly Nelson, prosecuting at Burnley Crown Court, said stolen cars were received at the Alder Bank unit and broken down.

Trankalis was involved in the breaking down of the vehicles while Lund-Wright would take photos of the parts ready for them to be listed for sale.

When police searched the area they found a number of vehicles and parts, including the engine and a gearbox from a green Skoda Fabia belonging to Volkswagen Financial Services that was contracted out to Lund-Wright that he was the registered keeper of.

He was told to return the vehicle when more than £1,000 in arrears was accrued on it but he did not. Volkswagen reported the theft and confirmed there was no permission to dismantle the car.

Police seized various cars and parts from the unit, ranging from Audi, Volkswagen, and Mercedes-Benz.

They also searched a unit in Balderstone Close, Burnley, where they found further parts as well as vehicle owner manuals matching vehicles found at Alder Bank.

A mobile phone seized from Lund-Wright was found to have 64 photos of car parts and an Instagram message discovered said ‘get Gvido to chop it.’

The phone also contained what appeared to either be a stock list or a sales list, with one such item being a Ford Fiesta tailgate being sold for £120.

Trankalis, of Briercliffe Road, Burnley, was also sentenced for possession of cocaine with intent to supply.

When police arrested him on September 29, 2022, a search of his home found 23.4g of cocaine, with a street value of around £1,840, as well as digital scales and 200 empty snap bags.

A mobile phone was found which he said he was holding for someone else, but when police gained access to the phone they found messages which suggested he had been using it to supply drugs throughout September 2022.

Both defendants pleaded guilty to the offences.

Adam White, mitigating for Trankalis, said his best mitigation was an early guilty plea and that during his time on remand he had undertaken a number of courses in prison with a view to getting his life back on track upon release.

Mark Stuart, for Lund-Wright, said his client was immature at the time of the offences, being 20-years-old.

He added there was no evidence to suggest he was physically involved with the cars.

Judge Sara Dodd, sentencing, said Trankalis had used his time in custody well and his time on remand will count towards his sentence.

In relation to Lund-Wright, she added he must have had some awareness of the scale of the operation but it seemed there was “very little selling activity you were involved in.”

Trankalis was sentenced to five years and six months in prison.

Lund-Wright, of Emmott Lane, Laneshawbridge, was given a 12-month sentence suspended for 18 months, with 35 rehabilitation activity requirement days and 101 hours of unpaid work.