Sealed docs released after FBI raid in Nashville: Details investigation, slew of charges

The complaint details the charges against Robert Clinton Thomas and the investigation that led to his arrest in Nashville.
Stolen vehicles from California, Wisconsin found in FBI raid at Nashville home according to court documents.
Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 6:07 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The sealed criminal complaint connected to the FBI raid at a West Nashville home has been released by the Department of Justice.

The complaint details the charges against Robert Clinton Thomas and the investigation that led to his eventual arrest at his home on Hill Circle Drive in Nashville.

Thomas faces several charges, including conspiracy, transportation of stolen vehicles, sale or receipt of stolen vehicles, mail fraud, and wire fraud. According to the complaint, FBI Detroit began investigating a group of people who were involved in numerous vehicle thefts that crossed state lines.

On Aug. 14, seven suspects were charged with conspiracy to transport, receive, and sell stolen vehicles. Ten days later, a grand jury returned an indictment on those people. After analyzing one of the suspect’s cell phones, Thomas was identified as a suspect.

Text messages between Thomas and the suspect detail his dealings with an auto theft crew in Nashville and provide them with fraudulent identifications, plates, titles, and VINs so that the stolen cars can be concealed, transported and sold. In the complaint, it states that Thomas owns Elite Auto Partners, which is a used car dealership with a public-facing site.

However, investigators were unable to locate a business license or registration with the state. The complaint adds several instances where Thomas sent the other suspect fraud IDs, plates, titles and VINs for the stolen vehicles.

The complaint then details the investigator’s probable cause through text messages, and then into the search warrant execution that was caught on camera by WSMV4 crews.

The complaint details how Brentwood Police were surveilling the home on Hill Circle Drive and observed several people suspected of being involved in stealing cars coming and going from the house.

Thomas was seen interacting with the suspects.

On Sep. 5, a federal search warrant was signed, and a day later, FBI Nashville executed it. A number of fraudulent items, $2,700 in cash, window stickers to stolen vehicles, a Mercedes G63 Wagen (stolen from Los Angeles), and a Dodge Charger (stolen from Phoenix) were all seized.

You can read the 17-page criminal complaint in its entirety below: