A Brick Township man is in some federal trouble after his scary passion for chainsaws and money has led to charges being brought against him.

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Jose Rodriguez, 48, of Brick is also an Amtrak employee was arrested Monday for allegedly stealing $50,000 worth of chainsaws and chainsaw part from his employer and then re-selling them, mostly through an online auction service, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced on Tuesday.

He is charged by complaint with one count of theft from an agency receiving federal funds and one count of theft of government property and appeared in Newark federal court on Tuesday afternoon.

Honig said that Rodriguez has been an Amtrak employee since October 2007 rising up to the rank of a senior engineer and repairman, based out of a facility in North Brunswick.

His chainsaw scheme has gone on for a few years now as between August 2016 and July 2020, Rodriguez obtained 77 chainsaws, 103 bars, and 163 chains from Amtrak.

At one point during his selling of the chainsaws via online auction to people across the U.S., Honig said that Rodriguez directly contacted one purchaser on multiple occasions offering to sell chainsaws and parts the day before or the same day that he picked up chainsaws and parts from Amtrak.

Federal Agents recovered several chainsaws that included serial numbers matching Amtrak’s chainsaws.

The offenses charged in the complaint each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and maximum fine of $250,000.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cari Fais and Jeffrey Manis of the Office’s Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.

You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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