BURLINGTON, Vt. – A Vermont man is facing federal charges he possessed a number of tractors and trucks that were stolen over a 12-year period from Vermont, New York, Massachusetts and Maine.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says 49-year-old James Moorcroft of Brookfield pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Moorcroft orchestrated the theft of six trucks and two farm tractors that he brought to the Brookfield farm where he lives and then used them after removing the vehicle identification numbers.

In February, police in Connecticut examined one of the vehicles at the home of one of Moorcroft’s relatives and discovered the VINs didn’t match.

Prosecutors say they believe Moorcroft panicked and then tried to dispose of the vehicles in the other states. The vehicles were recovered in those states.

Moorcroft’s attorney declined comment.

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