Detroit MI Aug 2 2017 A Detroit pawn shop owner and employee, accused of accepting $300,000 in merchandise stolen from stores in southeast Michigan, including Canton, are facing a total of 21 felony charges.
Gasswan Usama Gargis, 38, of Commerce Township and Trisha-Lynette Viado Razon, 20, of Orchard Lake are accused in an organized retail crime scheme amid allegations they took in stolen high-end electronics, kitchen appliances, generators, jewelry, power tools and other merchandise.
The defendants were arraigned Tuesday by Detroit 36th District Judge Kenneth J. King, who released them on a $5,000 personal bond. They are due back in court on Aug. 8 for a probable cause conference.
The charges follow a six-month investigation that included Canton police executing a search warrant June 12 at the iPawn Shop on Eight Mile Road in Detroit and also at Gargis's home. Canton Deputy Police Chief Craig Wilsher said Gargis and Razon are suspected of accepting stolen merchandise and selling it at the pawn shop.
Gargis could face up to 20 years in prison, Wilsher said, if he is convicted of one count of conducting a criminal enterprise, seven counts of organized retail crime, six counts of receiving and concealing stolen property over $1,000 and two related misdemeanor charges.
Razon could face five years in prison, Wilsher said, if convicted of five counts of organized retail crime, two counts of receiving and concealing stolen property over $1,000 and two related misdemeanor charges.
Police say they recovered more than $300,000 in stolen merchandise. Wilsher called it a "very extensive" list of goods taken from big box stores such as Walmart, Home Depot and Target in southeast Michigan, including Canton.
The case was handled by Canton police, the Michigan State Police and the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office. Authorities haven't said who may actually have stolen the merchandise and sold it to the pawn shop.
“The defendants are allegedly responsible for thwarting over approximately $300,000 from major big box retailers in the metro Detroit area," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Tuesday, in a statement. "These charges today are the result of months of tedious and exhaustive work by the Canton Police Department and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office."
Worthy said the charges should send a strong message.
"This case should serve as notice that these wide-scale sales of stolen goods to pawn shop operations will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted in Wayne County," she said.