ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Court paperwork is revealing more details about the five men arrested in alleged multi-million dollar pawn shop schemes.
Two separate complaints (full documents below) outline testimony from drug addicts who say they stole merchandise and sold it to pawn shops, items the owners and employees would then resell.
Court documents include several accounts from boosters explaining the transactions at the pawn shops. Boosters are addicts who steal items and sell them to pawn shops for money. Several boosters say the pawn shop owners knew the items were stolen and that the boosters were drug addicts.
One addict, named “Booster One” in court documents, said Devin Tribunella, one of the pawn shop owners, was aware the items she sold him were stolen.
Booster One said Tribunella gave her his cell phone number and texted her photos of items he wanted her to steal. She also said the pawn shop owners and employees knew she was addicted to pills but continued buying from her anyway.
A conversation between Tribunella and a police officer is also in the paperwork. According to the transcript, Tribunella tried to give the police officer an autographed photo of Michael Jordan. The officer didn’t accept it.
Tribunella later told the officer if the addicts don’t sell stolen items to pawn shops they’ll make their money elsewhere. He said they’ll start doing home invasions.
Another part of that conversation, Tribunella said, “They steal it” and the police officer responds, “Yep.” Tribunella said, “…But then it becomes un-stolen to us because we actually purchased it…”
The documents say as of September 2019, 522 people have overdosed in Monroe County this year. 228 of those people have a history of selling to pawn shops.