7 charged in medicine sales scheme

Staff WriterNovember 25, 2006 

— Federal prosecutors have charged seven people in connection with an interstate fencing operation that sold of thousands of dollars worth of stolen over-the-counter medicines and beauty products.

In an indictment released this month, prosecutors charged Christopher Devon Jenkins, Jacqueline Marie Jenkins, Brandon McCoy Everette, Galen Jay Simmons, Gia Pennington, Young Woo Lee and Jane Lee with conspiring to transport stolen medicines and beauty products across state lines.

The one-count indictment appears to be the result of the arrest of the Jenkinses and the Lees almost a year ago.

In December 2005, the Lees of Livingston, N.J., appeared in federal court in Raleigh after investigators found $500,000 worth of stolen goods in their New Jersey home. Some of those stolen goods had been bought from Christopher Jenkins: The Lees had paid $32,000 to him for $90,000 worth of products, according to court records and investigators.

The Lees' lawyer, Rosemary Godwin of Raleigh, has previously said the Lees did not know the goods were stolen.

On a weekly basis from the late fall of 2003 until December 2005, investigators say, Christopher Jenkins of Durham, along with Jacqueline Jenkins, Everette, Simmons and Pennington, bought the stolen products from "boosters," or organized shoplifters who steal a high volume of goods, and then sell the goods to others. Store identification and security tags were removed from the products before they were sold, according to the indictment. The products include Tylenol, Oil of Olay and the heartburn remedy Prilosec.

Prosecutors are seeking to seize $60,000 worth of individually packed over-the-counter medications, including Motrin and Pepcid; $18,000 from Christopher Jenkins; $14,435 from the Lees; and Young Lee's 2001 Chevrolet van.

Staff writer Andrea Weigl can be reached at 829-4848 or aweigl@newsobserver.com.

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