Five Arrested on Federal Charges Related to Two Large New Haven-Area Fencing Operations
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that five men were arrested today on federal charges related to two separate, large-scale fencing operations in the New Haven area.
On June 23, 2016, a grand jury sitting in New Haven 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 grand jury sitting in Hartford 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 today, after CONNELLY, MUZYKA, REIDELL, SACCO, and HARWOOD were arrested. They each appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford and all were released on $100,000 bonds.
The first indictment alleges that CONNELLY and MUZYKA operated a licensed secondhand store, Ace Amusements, located at 42 Kimberly Avenue in New Haven. CONNELLY and MUZYKA are alleged to have knowingly purchased stolen property from “boosters,” who typically were 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. SACCO and HARWOOD 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 term of imprisonment of 10 years, and the charge of conspiracy carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Connecticut State Police, United States 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.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David T. Huang and John T. Pierpont, Jr.