On Thursday, federal and state prosecutors charged 29 individuals in a shoplifting ring spanning six states.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office within the Northern District of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office charged the people for taking part within the retail theft ring based mostly out of northeastern Oklahoma, in response to a press launch from the Department of Justice.
U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson and Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor introduced the fees, the press launch stated.
“Organized retail crime is dear to the financial well-being of our communities. This alleged retail theft ring is estimated to have precipitated retailers greater than $10 million in losses,” Johnson stated within the launch. “A joint group of investigators have labored meticulously over the previous a number of years to attach the proof and convey this case ahead for prosecution. I’m grateful for his or her professionalism and persistence.”
Linda Been is the alleged chief of the ring of “boosters,” in response to the federal indictment and Oklahoma’s possible trigger affidavit, the press launch stated. Jail information record her title as Linda Gann, KNSS reported. Her son, Curtis Leon Gann Jr., has additionally been charged, in response to the press launch.
Been would allegedly give boosters a listing of things to steal and pay for bills once they traveled out of the state, prosecutors stated, in response to KNSS. If the boosters have been arrested, Been would additionally pay for his or her bonds, prosecutors allege.
The ring made a revenue of $4.5 million from promoting stolen merchandise and over-the-counter merchandise, the press launch stated. Some of the objects embody Flonase, Mucinex, Nexium, and Allegra, KNSS reported. Those objects have been bought to fencing organizations exterior of Oklahoma that will then promote them once more on e-commerce websites.
The ring hit shops in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Colorado, in response to the press launch. The boosters would steal from shops, reminiscent of Sam’s Club, CVS, Target, Walgreens, Whole Foods, Reasor’s, Akins, and Sprouts, in response to KTUL.
After stealing the objects, boosters would then ship the merchandise to set areas in Tulsa, Sand Springs, and Cleveland, Oklahoma, the place they’d be saved and prepped for bulk shipments to fences, the press launch stated. Billy Osborne, Juston Osborne, Corey Fields, Amanda Johnson, and Been allegedly assist with storing and prepping the stolen items, in response to the press launch.
“These federal indictments are a results of the large work and collaboration achieved by our trusted legislation enforcement companions,” stated Christopher Miller, appearing Special Agent in Charge HSI Dallas, within the press launch. “It doesn’t matter the place these legal networks function and promote their illegally acquired items. We will work with out finish to make sure these concerned are investigated and delivered to justice.”
The investigation into the retail theft ring was launched in 2019 after an organized crime investigator from a pharmacy retailer shared data with Tulsa police detectives relating to bulk thefts at their Tulsa space areas, the press launch stated.