On November 2, 2018, the Honorable Edward J. McBride, J.S.C., sentenced 43-year-old Yasin Knight to 5 and one-half years in prison for a criminal conviction he incurred as a result of his connection to a retail theft ring operating in South Jersey. Pursuant to the sentencing order entered in this case, Knight must serve approximately two and one-years of his prison sentence before he is eligible for parole.
Investigation Into Yasin Knight As Leader of Organized Retail Theft Enterprise
Following a six-month collaborative investigation conducted by the New Jersey State Police Interstate Theft South Unit detectives, the Major Crimes Unit of the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, and loss prevention specialists employed by Acme Markets and ShopRite Supermarkets, authorities arrested and charged Yasin Knight with the crime of being a leader of an organized retail theft enterprise in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11 and N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11.2. According to the evidence gathered as a result of the investigation, Knight was alleged to have conspired with others as an organizer, supervisor, financier or manager, to engage for profit in a scheme or course of conduct to effectuate the transfer or sale of shoplifted merchandise. Specifically, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office alleged that Knight organized a team of shoplifters to steal items such as baby formula, diapers, and laundry detergent from local grocery stores in Camden County, Salem County, and Gloucester County. Thereafter, according to the prosecution’s allegations, Knight would arrange for the resale of these stolen items to stores in Camden City, New Jersey.
On October 9, 2018, Knight confirmed the prosecution’s allegations by pleading guilty to one count of being the leader of an organized retail theft enterprise. The charge that Knight pleaded guilty to is graded as an indictable crime of the second degree, which is the second most severe criminal offense grading established by New Jersey law.
Generally, if a criminal defendant pleads guilty to or is found guilty at trial of an indictable crime in the second degree, New Jersey law permits the sentencing court to impose a fixed term of imprisonment of between five years and 10 years on defendants. Moreover, under certain circumstances, New Jersey law also permits sentencing courts to impose an extended term sentence of between 10 and 20 years’ imprisonment on defendants convicted of being a leader of an organized retail theft enterprise. Further, in addition to carceral sanctions, those convicted of being leaders of organized retail theft enterprises may also be subject to fines not to exceed $250,000 or five times the retail value of the merchandise seized at the time of arrest, whichever is greater.
Based on the sentenced imposed by Superior Court Judge McBride, it appears as though Knight may have pleaded guilty to the leader of an organized retail theft enterprise charge as part of a negotiated plea agreement. While this fact is not confirmed, the sentence Knight received is on the lower end of the sentencing range that New Jersey law permits based on the grading of the offense. Accordingly, while this sentencing could have been given based on a variety of other reasons, the most common reason a defendant who commits a crime of this severity is given the low end of the sentencing range is because of plea agreements negotiated and entered into created by prosecutors and defendants.
Contact an Experienced Moorestown Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Shoplifting Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with shoplifting in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Michele Finizio have successfully represented clients charged with shoplifting charges in Moorestown, Camden, Mount Laurel, Burlington Township, and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 599-5519 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 9 E. Main St, Moorestown, NJ 08057, as well as offices located in Cherry Hill.
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