Two men from Connecticut are facing time in prison after being found guilty of operating an elaborate fencing operation utilizing opioid addicts.
Following nearly two weeks of deliberation, a jury this week found New Haven resident George Connelly, Jr., 48, and Branford reisdent William Reidell, 41, guilty of federal charges in relation to their roles in a large-scale fencing operation.
According to evidence introduced at trial, Connelly and Paul Muzyka - who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit the interstate transport of stolen property and one count of interstate transport of stolen property and is awaiting sentencing - operated a licensed secondhand store, Ace Amusements, located at 42 Kimberly Avenue in New Haven.
At Ace Amusements, Connelly and Muzyka knowingly purchased stolen property from “boosters,” who typically were shoplifters with opioid addictions. The boosters stole the goods from retail stores such as Home Depot, Target, CVS, and Lowe’s, and sold the goods at Ace Amusements for approximately one-third of their retail prices. Muzyka then resold the stolen goods at Ace Amusements, and also online at websites such as eBay.
Connelly and Muzyka also sold property to resellers, including Reidell, who then resold the property online using online websites. In total, there was at least $1.5 million in sales on Ebay in the past two years by the three men.
Connelly and Reidell were each found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit the interstate transport of stolen property. Connelly was also found guilty of two counts of interstate transport of stolen property, and Reidell one count of the same charge. Connelly was also found not guilty of interstate transport of stolen property.
The two men will face up to a decade is prison if they are found guilty. Both are released on $100,000 bonds. Sentencing dates have not been scheduled.
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