Former Jefferson City Business Owner Pleads Guilty to EBay Burglary Scheme
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former Jefferson City, Mo., business owner pleaded guilty in federal court today to his role in a scheme to burglarize residences in Columbia, Mo., and sell the stolen items on eBay.
Yevhen Olejovich Drobovych, 27, of Jefferson City, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Matt J. Whitworth to one count of mail fraud contained in a July 20, 2016, federal indictment. Drobovych was the owner of Jefferson City Computer Services.
Drobovych was connected to a large number of burglaries in Columbia, primarily targeting college housing and electronic equipment. Several individuals were identified during the investigation who burglarized residences and forwarded the stolen items to Drobovych. By pleading guilty today, Drobovych admitted that he posted the stolen items for sale on eBay and mailed them to buyers by the U.S. Postal Service or other interstate carrier.
A specific example cited in today’s plea agreement involves a burglary that occurred on Nov. 22, 2014. Several thousand dollars’ worth of camera equipment and Apple MacBooks were stolen. The next day, Drobovych sold some of the stolen items on eBay – three cameras, lenses and other equipment – to a buyer in Kansas City, Mo., for $6,800. The buyer found the burglary victim’s information on the cameras and, making contact with the victim, learned the camera equipment had been stolen.
The buyer told investigators that he had made previous purchases from Drobovych on eBay, and that Drobovych had notified him by text about the camera equipment for sale. Drobovych told the Kansas City buyer that he purchased the equipment from a person who came into his store.
In a separate but related case, Henry Anthony Williams, also known as “Foolish,” 27, of Jefferson City, pleaded guilty on March 22, 2017, to his role in the scheme. Williams also pleaded guilty to possessing stolen firearms.
Williams admitted that he had sold stolen equipment to Drobovych, who sold the items on eBay. Williams admitted that he committed at least one of the three residential burglaries that occurred on Nov. 17, 2015, among residences on Commercial Drive in Columbia.
Williams also admitted that he possessed firearms that had been stolen during the burglary of a residence in Columbia. Moberly, Mo., police officers received a report from a local gun store on Sept. 17, 2014, that someone was trying to sell one of the stolen firearms – a customized Remington rifle – to the store’s owner. The person who tried to sell the stolen rifle told officers that he had purchased it from another man, identified as “LJ,” who in turn said he purchased it from Williams. LJ told officers that Williams had other firearms for sale. On Sept. 24, 2014, LJ arranged to meet Williams in the Hooters parking lot in Columbia to purchase another firearm. In a controlled undercover transaction, LJ was provided $350 and purchased a Marlin .22-caliber rifle and a Western Field 12-gauge shotgun from Williams. The Marlin rifle was among the firearms stolen in the Columbia burglary.
Under federal statutes, Drobovych is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence E. Miller. It was investigated by the Columbia, Mo., Police Department, the Jefferson City, Mo., Police Department, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.