Four Targeted in Pawn Shop Investigation Enter Guilty Pleas
Also former non-profit executive director admits to theft
Three men and a woman arrested as part of “Operation Golden Eye,” a multijurisdictional investigation by Delaware Department of Justice, Delaware State Police, United States Postal Service, and the Middletown Police Department, pled guilty for their part in the illegal practices of a Middletown pawn shop. Deputy Attorneys General Erika Flaschner and Eric Zubrow secured the pleas from Shaun Reilly, 35, and Kisha Reilly, 36, of New Castle, who were both operators of the business and main defendants in the case, Todd Miller, 23, of Middletown, and Stephen McClain, 31, of Smyrna. A total of 23 people were indicted as a result of the investigation of the Gold Fever Pawn Shop on Broad Street in Middletown on charges including Racketeering, Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering, and Organized Retail Theft. Items recovered from the store and the Reillys’ home included $100,000 worth of over-the-counter health care products, four rifles, three handguns, and two shotguns.
- Shaun Reilly pled guilty to Criminal Racketeering, Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Racketeering, and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony. Reilly was immediately sentenced by a Superior Court judge to 9 years in prison, followed by 18 months of probation.
- Kisha Reilly pled guilty to Criminal Solicitation Second Degree, Organized Retail Theft, and two counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited. Reilly will be sentenced later this year.
- Todd Miller and Stephan McClain both pled guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering and Organized Retail Theft, and were sentenced to one year of probation.
These four resolutions bring the number of Operation Golden Eye cases resolved to 22, with only Cody Keithley remaining. Keithley, 25, of North East, MD faces charges of Organized Crime and Racketeering, and Organized Retail Theft. The lead investigators on the case were Detectives William Harris, Christina Hevelow, and Sgt. Andrew Lloys from Delaware State Police Troop 2, and Agent Jonathan Speck of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Original news release on Operation Golden Eye can be found here.
Eric Harris, the former Executive Director of Sojourners’ Place in Wilmington, pled guilty in Superior Court in relation to his stealing from the organization that provides help and shelter to the homeless as they transition back to self-sufficiency. Harris pled guilty to Theft over $100,000, Act of Intimidation, and Forgery Second Degree. Starting in fall 2013, the 51-year-old Harris began stealing donation checks sent to Sojourners Place. Harris would then deposit these donation checks into a bank account he had set up in the charity’s name without its authorization, withdrawing those funds as cash or charging the account for personal expenses. The crime was discovered by the charity when Harris intercepted a series of grant checks that were expected to be received. Harris faces a minimum mandatory 2 years in prison when sentenced in Superior Court in June. Deputy Attorney General Stephen McDonald of the DOJ Consumer Protection Unit prosecuted the case.
A Wilmington man faces a minimum of 25 years in prison after his guilty plea on drug and weapons charges. Deputy Attorney General Allison Abessinio secured the plea from 31-year-old Jonathan Johnson. Johnson was arrested in February 2016 when police went to his home in the 800 block of Maryland Avenue to assist a family crisis therapist from the Division of Family Services. The officer noticed drugs in plain view, then returned with a search warrant and found a .22 caliber handgun in a jacket that had been lying on the same couch where four children were seated when police arrived. Johnson pled guilty to Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony and Drug Dealing (cocaine). Johnson faces 25 years to life in prison when sentenced as a habitual offender because of previous felony conviction on drug and assault charges in Superior Court later this year.
A 51-year-old Wilmington man will spend 15 years in prison, sentenced as a habitual offender for a weapons charge. Deputy Attorney General Timothy Maguire secured the sentence for Anthony White. In August 2016, officers from Wilmington’s Operation Safe Streets Unit stopped White after seeing what they believed to be a drug deal in an alley next to a home in the 1500 block of West 3rd Street. After taking White into custody, they found a loaded .32-caliber revolver in his waistband. White pled guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited in February. White was sentenced as a habitual offender and is barred having a gun because of previous felony convictions for weapons, robbery and burglary charges.
James Williams, 19, of Laurel pled guilty to Rape Fourth Degree and Unlawful Sexual Contact Second Degree. In October 2016, Williams raped a 13-year-old co-worker at the Cemetery House Haunted House attraction in Laurel. Deputy Attorney General Casey Ewart secured the plea from Williams. A pre-sentencing investigation was ordered, and Williams faces up to 18 years in prison when sentenced in Superior Court in June.