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Baltimore, Maryland – Brian Nelson Halsey, age 52, of Westminster, Maryland, formerly of Dundalk, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to interstate transportation of stolen goods in connection with a scheme to sell property stolen from shopping mall kiosks online.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
According to his plea agreement, from October 7, 2014 through March 29, 2016, Halsey used online accounts opened in different names and identities to sell stolen items, including designer sunglasses, and shipped the items nationwide from his home in Dundalk, Maryland.
Specifically, Halsey’s co-conspirator broke into kiosks and stores in shopping malls in Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Fairview Heights, Illinois; and Myrtle Beach, Wilmington, Columbia, and Florence, South Carolina, and stole merchandise which he brought to Halsey in Maryland. Halsey sold the property through an online market, and used the U.S. Postal Service and commercial carriers to ship the stolen property to the buyers. Halsey provided cash from the sale of the stolen property to his co-conspirator and also helped to finance the co-conspirator’s travel and travel expenses to other states to commit thefts in order to obtain more property for sale. Halsey maintained multiple online market accounts, online payment accounts, and bank accounts under different names and identities during the scheme.
On August 28, 2015, law enforcement searched Halsey’s residence and recovered over $200,000 worth of stolen designer sunglasses, as well as a printing and labeling system, and a large number of documents related to selling sunglasses through an online market. Law enforcement also recovered lock-pick kits and numerous atlases and street maps.
Halsey admitted that more than five individuals participated in the scheme, helping Halsey to package and ship the stolen sunglasses, providing their identification information to Halsey to set up bank and online accounts, and/or assisting in the thefts. Halsey organized the sale of items online and their shipment to buyers outside Maryland. The estimated loss from the scheme was approximately $500,000.
Halsey faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. As part of his plea agreement, he will also be required to pay restitution in the full amount of the victims’ losses. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for November 15, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. Halsey remains detained.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended FBI and Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron S. J. Zelinsky, who is prosecuting the case.