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NEW INFO: Flea Market Owner Sentenced for Receiving Stolen Property; Also Faces Federal Gun Charge

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 7/31/13 @ 4:20 p.m.
IRONTON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The co-owner of the Proctorville Flea Market is headed to prison.

Jeffrey Jones, of Proctorville, was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. One year and $2,500 on each count. He was also ordered to forfeit merchandise and monies confiscated during the investigation.

In May, Jones pleaded guilty to four counts of receiving stolen property, fifth-degree felony charges.

The charges stem back to August 2012, when the Proctorville Flea Market was raided by the Lawrence Drug and Major Crimes Task Force.

At the time, Task Force Director Tim Sexton said the raid was the result of an investigation that revealed stolen property, or property believed to be stolen, was being purchased by Jones.

Sexton said a group of eight to 10 people was shoplifting products from numerous drug stores across the region and exchanging those items for cash at the flea market. The items then ended up on flea market shelves at cut-rate prices.

Sexton says the drug stores included Walgreens, CVS and Rite-Aid’s all around the region, including the Charleston area.

In May, Jones pleaded guilty to a federal firearm charge during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Huntington..

Federal prosecutors say that on March 15, 2012, a police informant contacted Jones by telephone and arranged to purchase a .22-caliber pistol.

Afterward, Jones met the informant at a predetermined location in Huntington and sold the pistol in exchange for $150.

Prosecutors say that Jones knew prior to the transaction, the person (informant) had been convicted of a felony and was not permitted to possess a firearm. Then during the transaction, Jones told the police informant to wipe down the guns and that if anything happened he would report the gun stolen.

Jones also sold an additional five firearms to the same police informant. All of the firearm transactions were monitored and recorded by police, according to federal prosecutors. .

Jones faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on the federal charge later this month.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 5/16/13 @ 2 p.m.
IRONTON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The man who was the co-owner of the Proctorville Flea Market has pleaded guilty to several counts of receiving stolen property.

During a hearing Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court, Jeffrey Jones, 50, of Proctorville, pleaded guilty to four counts of fifth-degree receiving stolen property.

Four other counts of receiving stolen property were dropped, along with one count of complicity to receive stolen property and one count of engaging in corrupt activity.

The charges were the result of a raid by the Lawrence Drug and Major Crimes Task Force last August.

Task Force Director Tim Sexton said the raid was the result of an investigation that revealed stolen property, or property believed to be stolen, was being purchased by Jones.

Sexton said a group of eight to 10 people were shoplifting products from numerous drug stores across the region and exchanging those items for cash at the flea market. The items then ended up on flea market shelves at cut-rate prices.

Sexton says the drug stores included Walgreens, CVS and Rite-Aid’s all around the region, including the Charleston area.

Jones will be sentenced in July.

Lisa Jenkins, 48, of Proctorville, was also arrested following the raid. Jenkins was a vendor and operated a booth at the flea market.

Jenkins is charged with three counts of receiving stolen property and one count of engaging in corrupt activities, according to court records.

She is scheduled to go on trial in June.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 8/6/12 @ 5:45 p.m.
PROCTORVILLE, Ohio (WSAZ) -- We're hearing more and more about organized crime in our area.

Now it's posing a serious health hazard to you, the consumer, all following a weekend raid at a popular flea market.

WSAZ.com has the latest on what a major crimes task force calls organized retail theft.

This goes way beyond shoplifting. In this case, an investigation that started in West Virginia in the spring found what the task force says was a group of eight to 10 drug addicted thieves stealing anything and everything from stores throughout the Tri-State area.

Then, they say the so-called ‘boosters’ sold the stuff to flea market folks who then sold it all to customers -- until Saturday, that is.

In court Monday morning, Proctorville Flea Market co-owner Jeff Jones and vendor Lisa Jenkins faced felony corruption charges. The Lawrence Drug and Major Crime Task Force calls Jones the organizer -- the fence.

They say he and Jenkins were buying thousands of dollars of all kinds of merchandise that a gang of drug addicts was stealing from various Tri-State pharmacies and other stores -- items that ended up on flea market shelves at cut-rate prices.

“It could be nail polish, ladies face cream, it could be razors," Task
Force Director Tim Sexton said. "They like to target the high-end items.”

Flea market co-owner Earl Lake says they ransacked his offices in a raid and organized crime charge against his partner and manager. He said the raid took him by complete surprise.

“I still am not sure he is guilty of the charges against him,” Lake said.

A top investigator for Walgreen’s retail crime division says consumer crime setups like this one costs all retailers from $30 to $40 billion a year.

“You just can't always pass the costs on to consumers," investigator Gary Weisbecker said. "You're going to out price yourself, but it's a huge amount of money that's being stolen day in and day out.“

Lake says he'll re-open the flea market next weekend with a new set of policies and ethics.

”We will open; the vendors say they're behind me," Lake said. "I will take more responsibility in managing the flea market.”

Lake says only three booths and his offices were raided. Task force officials say no other flea market folks besides Jones and Jenkins are suspects.

With plenty of over-the-counter drugs stolen, the big concern here is consumer health and safety. Investigators say you don't know how long that diabetes or stomach medicine was in someone's trunk or storage bin or how if might affect you when taken.

Several West Virginia and Ohio law enforcement departments, along with national organized crime investigators, assisted in this ongoing case.



ORIGINAL STORY
PROCTORVILLE, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The co-owner of the Proctorville Flea Market has been arrested following a raid by the Lawrence Drug and Major Crimes Task force.

Jeffrey Jones, 49, of Proctorville was charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Also arrested was Lisa Jenkins, 48, of Proctorville. Jenkins was a vendor and operated a booth at the flea market. She faces the same charges as Jones.

Both people were arraigned on their charges during a hearing Monday in Lawrence County Municipal Court.

The raid took place Saturday at the flea market.

Task Force Director, Tim Sexton says the raid was the result of an investigation that revealed stolen property or property believed to be stolen was being purchased by Jones.

According to a press release, a group of individuals were shoplifting products from numerous drug stores across the region and then exchanging those items for cash. Those suspected in the thefts were participating to support their drug habits.

Sexton says due to the severe monetary losses from the stores, a partnership between law enforcement and retail theft professionals was developed to target those responsible for the thefts and those buying the property.

The raid was the result of information and evidence obtained in that investigation.

Investigators say 8-10 people had been involved in shoplifting the items since March. Those items included over-the-counter medications, health related products, and food.

Sexton says the drug stores included Walgreens, CVS and Rite-Aid’s all around the region, including the Charleston area.

Both Jones and Jenkins could face additional charges when the case is presented to a grand jury.

Flea market co-owner, Earl Lake tells WSAZ.com that he was blindsided by the raid and the arrests.

Lake said he had no idea there was any alleged wrongdoing going on.

He says he plans to open next weekend with a new set of ethics and policies.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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