STRATFORD, Conn. — A 42-year-old man from Stratford is one of five arrested on federal charged related to two large operations to fence stolen goods in the New Haven area.
The arrests were announced Friday by U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly and Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the FBI.
On June 23, a New Haven grand jury returned an indictment charging George J. Connelly JR., 45, of New Haven; Paul William Muzyka, 46, of North Haven; and William Reidell, 40, of Branford, with one count of conspiracy and multiple counts of interstate transportation of stolen property.
On July 7, 2016, a Hartford grand jury returned an indictment charging Andrew Sacco, 43, of East Haven and formerly of Durham, and Matthew Harwood, 42, of Stratford and formerly of Durham, with one count of conspiracy and multiple counts of interstate transportation of stolen property.
Both indictments were unsealed Friday, after Connelly, Muzyka, Reidell, Sacco, and Harwood were arrested. They each appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford. Each was released on $100,000 bond.
The first indictment alleges that Connelly and Muzyka operated a licensed secondhand store, Ace Amusements, at 42 Kimberly Avenue in New Haven. Connelly and Muzyka are accused of knowingly purchasing stolen property from “boosters,” who typically are shoplifters with opioid addictions.
The boosters stole the goods from retail stores such as Walmart, Home Depot and Kohl’s. Connelly and Muzyka then resold the stolen goods at Ace Amusements and online at websites such as eBay and Amazon.
Connelly and Muzyka also sold property to resellers, including Reidell, who then resold the property online using online websites.
The second indictment alleges that Sacco and Harwood knowingly purchased stolen property from boosters and then resold the property at online websites, including, eBay and Amazon, usually in the names of family members and associates.
Sacco and Harwood are alleged to have rented cars for boosters for trips to steal items for them. They both met with boosters to purchase the stolen property at various locations, including at MVP Auto, an auto body shop located at 23 Bernhard Road in North Haven.
The charge of interstate transport of stolen property carries a maximum prison term of 10 years. The charge of conspiracy can bring a maximum of five years in prison.
This case is being investigated by FBI, with assistance from the Connecticut State Police, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, Connecticut Department of Correction, Connecticut Chief State’s Attorney’s Office, and the New Haven, North Haven, Milford, West Haven, Wallingford, Hamden and Orange Police Departments.