New Haven man admits to role in fencing operation

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that Andrew Sacco of New Haven and formerly of Durham, pleaded guilty on Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to charges stemming from his participation in a large-scale fencing operation.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between January, 2012 and December, 2014, Sacco participated in a conspiracy to purchase stolen property from “boosters,” who typically were shoplifters with opioid addictions, and then resold the property at online websites. Sacco, his co-conspirator Matthew Harwood, and others instructed the boosters to steal certain items from retail stores such as Petco, Staples, Walmart, and Bed Bath & Beyond, and paid cash for the stolen items at approximately one-third of their retail price.

After receiving the stolen merchandise, Sacco and Harwood stored the merchandise at multiple locations, including SACCO’s former residence in Durham and business locations in North Haven. Sacco and Harwood then sold the stolen products at online sites, including eBay and Amazon.

Through this scheme, retailers lost more than $3.9 million.

Sacco pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit interstate transport of stolen property, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, and one count of interstate transport of stolen property, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.

In pleading guilty, Sacco also agreed to forfeit the house in Durham where he formerly resided. He has been released on a $100,000 bond since his arrest on July 15, 2016.

Judge Shea has scheduled sentencing for September 13, 2017.

On November 3, 2016, Harwood pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit the interstate transport of stolen property and one count of interstate transport of stolen property. He awaits sentencing.