By Ashley Barker
Published May 13, 2014
A North Charleston business owner was sentenced on Monday to three years in prison for selling stolen goods, according to U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles.
Eugene Jones, 60, was convicted in federal court of conspiracy to transport stolen goods in interstate commerce. U.S. District Judge David C. Norton of Charleston sentenced Jones to 36 months imprisonment with three years of supervised release.
Evidence in the case established that Jones, who owns and operates Patriot Pawn in North Charleston, recruited dozens of people to steal merchandise from Lowes, Target, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Belk, K-Mart, Best Buy, and Bed, Bath and Beyond. He suggested to his co-conspirators that they should steal computer software, calculators, tool kits, electronic devices and kitchen appliances, according to Nettles.
The co-conspirators then took the stolen goods to Patriot Pawn, where Jones and his employees bought the items for far less than retail value, Nettles said. Jones, a Goose Creek resident, then sold the stolen goods on the Internet auction site eBay. Buyers were from South Carolina, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and California.
Nettles said between 2007 and 2012, Jones sold approximately $1 million of stolen goods on eBay and transported in interstate commerce. The money was divided between Jones and his co-conspirators.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Rhett DeHart of the Charleston office prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Secret Service and the North Charleston Police Department, according to Nettles.
Reach staff writer Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker on Twitter.