TROUTDALE, Ore. -- Seven illegal moving companies were busted Thursday in a sting operation in Troutdale.
They were all called to come to a house in Troutdale at staggered times, went inside the sting home and that's where the jig was up.
Authorities issued 20 vehicle safety violations on the moving campanies' trucks and vans. Most of them were easily found advertising on Craigslist, which can mean trouble when consumers go to hire movers, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Four out of seven of the movers in this sting were repeat offenders. Movers like Edmund Kashi with The Delivery Guys, who admitted to KGW he had been busted before for not having an ODOT certification. His company was cited $1,000 in this sting for still not having it.
"We do want to get legit, and we do know that it's very important, so getting that license was something we were going to do, but it's just unfortunate we were stung today," Kashi said.
ODOT regulates all moving companies in Oregon, and it's to protect consumers. Many illegal movers have picked up items and never returned them, others have demanded extra payments before they return items and others have committed ID theft.
The law says movers need to have clean criminal records, a $300 certification, safe moving trucks and charge ODOT-regulated rates.
Chris Yee of Ohana Moving was one of the owners fined $1,000 for not having the certification. Yee said he repeatedly called and emailed ODOT about it, but never got a response.
"Why is there this type of sting operation when we have the police involved, we have you guys out here," Yee questioned. "There's other things we can do. I think it would be a lot easier to respond to an email than to bring all these people out here."
Many of the movers who showed up to the sting were simply hired by the moving company's owner. No one was arrested, but the fines for not having that certification will be imposed on the company owners.
ODOT officials warned people who are planning a move to get estimates from three different companies. They also recommending using the ODOT website to find a licensed, legal mover.