The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Former Auction Owner Gets Prison Sentence

November 21, 2001

Michael Hockett Jr., the former owner of Tidewater Auto Auction, was sentenced on Nov. 19, 2001, to five months in prison, home detention, and a fine for attempting to blackmail a Suffolk (VA) city councilman during a rezoning request, according to a report on He will report to prison after Christmas. Hockett will also serve 150 days of home detention and pay a $20,000 fine. He pled guilty July 18 in a federal court to charges of conspiracy to commit extortion, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Federal court judge Jerome Friedman said he was granting leniency because of sympathetic letters and testimony from a preacher, two lawyers, and a retired Marine general. Hockett, who at the time was the principal owner of Tidewater Auto Auction, had sought a re-zoning request from the Suffolk City Council so that he could move the auction from its current Chesapeake address. When the council rejected the $13 million deal, Hockett admitted trying to blackmail Councilman E. Dana Dickens III in an attempt to get him to change his vote.
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