Monday, July 31, 2023

Leader Of Multi-State Jewelry Theft Crew Sentenced To More Than 6 Years’ Of Federal Imprisonment

 The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia released the below:

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Duanne Pierce, 60, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was sentenced to 77 months’ imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release, and $606,394.60 in restitution and other penalties by United States District Court Senior Judge Cynthia M. Rufe for conspiring to transport stolen property across state lines and interstate transportation of stolen property.

From May 2018 through February 2020, defendant Duanne Pierce led seven others in a conspiracy to commit 12 retail jewelry store thefts throughout the United States, transporting the stolen jewelry back to Philadelphia after the thefts, where the jewelry was generally resold to stores in the “Jewelers Row” section of the city. Pierce and his crew carried out these thefts all over the country, often committing multiple thefts from different jewelry stores in a single day. This sophisticated approach reduced the likelihood that the crew would be caught because of local law enforcement’s significant challenge in investigating these out-of-state perpetrators. Pierce participated in 11 thefts, and his role was to steal jewelry—including diamond rings and gold chains, often worth several thousand dollars each—from a display case or from the rear, employee-only area of a store, while his co-conspirators “distracted” sales associates. Pierce then resold the stolen jewelry to local jewelers in Philadelphia. The total retail value of the jewelry stolen by Pierce’s crew was approximately $612,670.59.

In March 2022, a federal grand jury returned a 10-count Indictment charging Duanne Pierce and codefendants Charles Tillery, Janel Pierce, Yolanda Fife, David Tillery, Telfa Wills, and Clifton Fleming with conspiracy to transport stolen property across state lines, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 (Count 1), and interstate transportation of stolen property and aiding and abetting, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2314 and 2 (Counts 2 through 10). In March 2023, Pierce pled guilty to Counts 1 through 10 of the Indictment. Each of Pierce’s codefendants has also pled guilty.

​"Thanks to the excellent work of the FBI and the many local police departments that assisted in this case," said U.S. Attorney Romero, "this prolific interstate robbery ring has been fully dismantled. Duanne Pierce’s sentence is the culmination of excellent cross-country collaboration among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies."

“Duanne Pierce and his co-defendants were both prolific and strategic in their thefts, sometimes targeting multiple jewelry stores in the same day. Then they’d move on to a different city and do it again, hauling the stolen loot back to Philly to resell,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “Through the investigative efforts of the FBI and numerous law enforcement partners across the country, this crew has been dismantled and is being held accountable for their crimes. For his leadership role in the conspiracy, Pierce will now spend years in federal prison.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Lancaster (PA) Police Department, Plantation (FL) Police Department, Greenville (SC) Police Department, Concord (NC) Police Department, Anderson (SC) Police Department, Jackson County (GA) Sheriff’s Office, Knoxville (TN) Police Department, Manchester (CT) Police Department, Howard County (MD) Police Department, Arlington County (VA) Police Department, Indianapolis (IN) Metropolitan Police Department, and Miami Township (OH) Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jessica Rice, Katherine Shulman, and Kevin Jayne.

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