29 in three states indicted in fencing operation


A fencing ring that sold more than $10 million worth of stolen goods in Maryland, New York and Georgia has been broken up with the indictment of 29 people, according to Richard H. Deane Jr., the U.S. Attorney for Georgia.

Those indicted included a former Atlanta police officer and residents of the Atlanta area, Maryland and upstate New York.

They were charged with conspiracy, money laundering and interstate transportation of stolen goods.

The scheme -- which goes back to 1994 -- included the theft of pain relievers, cough medicine, health and beauty aids, electronics, tobacco products, razor blades, film and batteries from discount outlets like Target and other Atlanta stores.

Deane said that the items totaled more than $10 million during the investigation, which began late last year.

The stolen goods were sold by thieves at a central location where the property was stripped of price tags and alarm stickers, re-packaged and shipped to retail outlets.

Some days, officials said, the fencing operation took in as much as $50,000 worth of stolen property.

Twenty-two of those indicted have been arrested and 13 of them are illegal aliens, said Immigration and Naturalization Service officials.

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