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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Maryland Man Sentenced to Over 4 Years in Federal Prison for Transporting Stolen Goods

Sold $500,000 Worth of Designer Sunglasses and Other Items Stolen from Shopping Mall Kiosks


Baltimore, Maryland – On May 8, 2017, U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Brian Nelson Halsey, age 52, of Westminster, Maryland, formerly of Dundalk, Maryland to 57 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for a scheme to sell property stolen from shopping mall kiosks online.


The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning; 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 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, William Albert Engel, broke into kiosks and stores in shopping malls in Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Fairview Heights, Illinois; Wilmington, North Carolina, and Myrtle Beach, 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 Engel and also helped to finance Engel’s 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.


Engel has pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 5, 2017, at 3:00 p.m.


Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended the FBI and Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation. Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron S. J. Zelinsky, who is prosecuting the case.


Updated May 9, 2017