Under 18 U.S.C. § 2322, it is a federal crime to knowingly own, operate, maintain, or control a chop shop or an area where stolen motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts are altered, destroyed, disassembled, dismantled, reassembled, or stored. The statute covers any person who knowingly buys, sells, or disposes of stolen motor vehicles or parts, or who knowingly assists in altering, destroying, disassembling, dismantling, reassembling, or storing them. The law applies when the motor vehicles or parts have crossed state or national borders, thus giving rise to federal jurisdiction. Penalties for a first conviction can include imprisonment for up to 15 years, fines, or both. For subsequent convictions, the maximum penalties can be doubled, leading to up to 30 years of imprisonment and increased fines. The statute is designed to combat the illicit trade in stolen vehicles and parts, which is often linked to organized crime and has significant economic impact on individuals and the automotive industry.