Eastern Shore Men Sentenced to Federal Prison for Scheme to Steal and Sell More Than $248,000 Worth of Processed Chicken Parts to Black Market Customers
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Lamar Tiquon Greene, age 39, of Easton, Maryland, today to seven months in federal prison, followed by seven months of home detention as part of three years of supervised release, for interstate transportation of stolen chicken parts. On October 16, 2018, Judge Bennett sentenced co-defendants Clifton A. Seeney, age 58, of Millsboro, Delaware, and Dondrey Tamount Copper, age 43, of Easton, for the same charge. Seeney was sentenced to four months in federal prison followed by four months of home detention as part of three years of supervised release; and Copper was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison, followed by six months of home detention as part of three years of supervised release. Judge Bennett also ordered that all three of the defendants must pay restitution totaling $248,721.
The sentences were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
According to their plea agreements, Seeney was a commercial truck driver who worked for a company that was contracted to transport pallets of frozen, processed chicken parts from a company in Maryland. The company in Maryland owned and operated poultry processing facilities, hatcheries, and feed mills in various locations on the East Coast. Greene and Copper worked at the company’s plant in Cordova, Maryland.
The chicken processing plant had a product inventory management system that used, among other things, bar code scanning to track the movement of its product inventory from the time chickens came into the facility with feathers on until they left as ready-to-cook chicken parts. From April 2015 to December 9, 2015, Seeney, Greene, and Copper exploited the system by stealing pallets of frozen chicken parts and selling them in the New York City area.
Specifically, as detailed in their plea agreements, Seeney would text Copper information concerning Seeney’s truck load assignment. Greene and Copper would scan the bar codes on pallets of cargo that were destined for wholesale customers back into the production inventory, then surreptitiously remove them without further scanning, and load the pallets onto a truck driven by Seeney that was already loaded with inventory destined for legitimate customers. Copper would inform Seeney of the number and location of the stolen pallets on Seeney’s truckload. Seeney would the deliver the stolen chicken parts to “black market” customers during the same trips he delivered pallets of chicken products to legitimate customers.
On December 9, 2015, another employee at the chicken processing plant alerted his supervisor that pallets of chicken parts had been loaded onto a trailer without properly being scanned out of inventory. Seeney was the operator of the truck hauling this trailer. The employee also spoke with Copper and Greene, who provided false accounts about the product on the trailer. The owner of the trucking company attempted to reach Seeney to tell him to return to the plant, and another driver spoke with Seeney and advised him of the owner’s order to return. Seeney ignored the order, denied anything was wrong with his load, and continued to New York City, where he delivered the product to the legitimate customers. GPS tracking revealed that in addition, Seeney traveled to another location where he off-loaded stolen chicken products and received cash in return. Seeney later posted photos to his social media account, taken while in the cab of the truck, flashing a wad of cash he received from the buyer of the stolen product.
Subsequent investigation revealed text messages between Copper and Seeney referencing the availability of stolen chicken products for delivery to black market customers. The insurance carrier for the chicken processing company estimated the value of the stolen chicken products at approximately $248,000.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur praised the FBI and Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney P. Michael Cunningham, who prosecuted the case.
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