May 22, 2018
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Brewer men get probation for stealing items from luggage to sell on eBay

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Two Brewer men were sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court to probation in connection with a scheme to sell on eBay electronic items stolen from baggage they were handling at Bangor International Airport.

Jarred Sproul and Timothy Mullen, both 25, stole items such as digital cameras from luggage they handled at BIA while employed five years ago by Piedmont Airlines, a subsidiary of U.S. Airways, according to court documents.

The pair waived indictment and pleaded guilty in July to charges of conspiracy to commit theft from interstate shipments.

U.S. District Judge Steven McAuliffe sentenced each man to a year of probation. In addition, he ordered them to pay jointly more than $600 in restitution.

McAullife, of Concord, N.H., handled the case because all the federal judges in Maine recused themselves. The judges did not give reasons for their recusals.

The thefts occurred between about May and October of 2006, according to an FBI investigation.

In early August of that year, Sproul and Mullen created an eBay user account under the name “chuck_and_chaz_r_us” that was used to list items they had stolen from BIA. The two were at Sproul’s former Bangor residence when they created the account, according to court documents.

On or about Aug 16, 2006, Mullen wrote a $650 check to Sproul, who later the same day deposited it into his account at Bangor Savings Bank. The check constituted proceeds from the sale of stolen items, court documents said.

Around Oct. 3, 2006, police executed a search warrant at Mullen’s home in Brewer. During the search, officers found several items, including several digital cameras, that had been stolen from passengers’ luggage at BIA, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The value of the items stolen was more than $5,000, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Wolff. He said after the sentencing that many of the stolen items were recovered and returned to their owners. Others could not be traced to their owners, so no one could be found to whom restitution could be paid.

The $617 restitution order was imposed after the value of the items that been recovered and the value of items whose owners could not be found was deducted from the total, he said.

Each man faced up to five years in federal prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

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