Tennessee Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Cargo Theft Scheme
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Memphis, Tenn., business owner pleaded guilty in federal court today to his role in a cargo theft scheme that included a theft in West Plains, Mo.
Earl Stanley Nunn, 59, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to theft of an interstate shipment.
Nunn, the owner of Nu World Trucking, LLC, was the leader of a cargo theft ring that used the resources of Nu World Trucking to steal cargo in various states. They did so by “bob-tailing” (meaning they traveled in a road tractor truck, without a semi-trailer attached) through truck stops and service stations located on or near interstate highways, looking for semi-trailers that had been left parked and unattended, and were not coupled to road tractors. When they located a semi-trailer that appeared to be unattended, they would steal the semi-trailer and the goods it contained by coupling their road tractor truck to it and driving off. After having stolen a semi-trailer and its contents, they usually transported the stolen goods to the Chicago, Ill., and Detroit, Mich., areas to be “fenced” or sold.
Nunn’s co-conspirators included his nephew, Michael Lee Sherley, 49, of Memphis, Tenn. (who pleaded guilty on March 19, 2014), his son, Roderick Nunn (who pleaded guilty in a related case in the Western District of Michigan) and others.
The government plans to establish that co-conspirators committed thefts in various states, including Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
The specific charge to which both Nunn and Sherley pleaded guilty involves a theft that occurred on May 11, 2013, at the Snappy Mart Truck Stop in West Plains. Nunn and Sherley stole a 2000 Wabash trailer (valued at $7,500), which contained a load of Green Giant canned corn (valued at $73,008). The trailer, owned by Bryant Freight, LLC, was in transit from Minnesota to a food bank in Arkansas. Nunn and Sherley admitted that they traveled through Missouri and Indiana with the stolen cargo before being apprehended in Michigan.
Under federal statutes, Nunn and Sherley are each subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. 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 Steven M. Mohlhenrich. It was investigated by the FBI’s Memphis Cargo Theft Task Force, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the West Plains, Mo., Police Department and the Michigan State Highway Patrol.