‘Chopper’ sentenced to 20 years

A Maylene man was sentenced to 20 years in prison Oct. 5 after he pleaded guilty to theft charges in the Shelby County Circuit Court.

David “Chopper” Strevel received the sentence and was ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution after he pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree theft of property. His wife, Sonia, pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false financial statement, and was sentenced to six months of probation.

The sentence came more than a year after David Strevel was arrested for selling more than 100 chainsaws on eBay, but never shipping them. David Strevel, the past president of the Alabaster Youth League, also has been charged with numerous other theft-related crimes.

In Feb. 2008, David Strevel was charged with accessing a friend’s bank account and withdrawing money without the victim’s knowledge.

In 2007, he was charged with scamming at least nine county residents out of at least $350,000. In the 2007 case, police said he guaranteed large returns to those who invested in his children’s clothing line, but instead pocketed the money.

“This concludes a two-year investigation into the criminal activity of the Strevels that dates back to 2004,” said Alabaster Police Department Deputy Chief Curtis Rigney. “We are glad to put these cases behind us.

“The numerous victims in these cases have suffered enough, and it’s time to start the healing process,” Rigney added.

Though he was sentenced to 20 years, David Strevel will be eligible for parole after three years. In 2008, he was ordered to serve 15 months at the Shelby County Community Corrections Work Release Center, and was ordered to pay $352,000 after he pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree theft by deception.

“Given the current state of the economy, too many people stand to be hurt if Mr. Strevel is released,” said Chief Assistant District Attorney Bill Bostic said. “This prison sentence was necessary and appropriate, because Mr. Strevel has repeatedly shown that he has no regard for the law when it comes to theft.”