Covington, Kentucky

Five Convicted in Covington Organized Crime Trial

From the Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Office:

Jury convicts all five defendants after 3 week Organized Crime trial! 28 Defendants were originally indicted for a variety of felony offenses related a criminal syndicate connected to two psuedo-pawn shops called "Cash-In." 23 pled guilty and received sentences reflective of each defendants level of culpability. These 5 defendants chose to go to trial. After three weeks of evidence and testimony, the jury convicted 4 defendants for Engaging In Organized Crime and 1 for Receiving Stolen Property. The case was investigated by Covington Detectives Brian Kane and Derek Uhl, as well as Erlanger Detectives Dan Fern and Jeff Miles. Prosecuted by Asst. Commonwealth's Attorneys Casey Burns and Noah Wentz. The jury recommended the following sentences:

William Godsey, Engaging In Organized Crime, 10 years
Jessica Burnett, Enganging In Organized Crime, 10 years
Randall Byrd, Engaging In Organized Crime, 14 years
Josh Megerle, Receiving Stolen Property, 1 year
Janina Byrd, Engaging In Organized Crime, 10 years
 
Commwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders discussed the case with The River City News on October 15:
 
 It all began when Covington Police went to what appeared to be a pawnshop at 26th & Madison to serve a city citation for operating without a occupational license.  Inside, detectives found what they believe was a huge cache of stolen merchandise.  The resulting investigation lasted months and resulted in over 30 indictments.  Its alleged to be an organized ring of professional shoplifters who would sell their haul to the Cash-In store.  The owners/operators of Cash-In would then sell the stolen goods on the internet at greatly reduced prices.  Investigators believe Cash-In was making hundreds of thousands of dollars per year from selling the stolen goods online.  Most of the 30+ defendants have pled guilty to some kind of theft or stolen property offenses.  The alleged ring-leader, Charlie Wilson, pled guilty to Theft Over $10K and was in the newsletter last week.  He's looking at a 10 year sentence.