Jul 11, 2018

Search warrants show Utah attorney general also seized cash from pawnshops associated with polygamous Kingston Group

Sportsman’s Pawn or Sportsman’s Fast Cash
Nate Carlisle
Salt Lake Tribune
July 11, 2018

Detectives raided pawnshops associated with a polygamous sect after receiving complaints from Home Depot, according to search warrants in the case.

The warrants also show that besides seizing suspected stolen property at businesses operating under names such as Xtreme Pawn, Sportsman’s Pawn or Sportsman’s Fast Cash, the Utah attorney general’s office received a judge’s permission to seize about $28,000 in two accounts at a credit union.

The search warrant says the accounts are suspected of conducting transactions totaling about $216,000 in stolen goods.

However, the warrants give no indication the Utah attorney general’s office is conducting a larger investigation into the Kingston Group, also known as the Davis County Cooperative Society. The pawnshops are owned by members of the group, public records show. Those ties are not discussed in the search warrants.

No criminal charges have been filed in the case. Representatives of the pawnshops did not respond to a message seeking comment Wednesday.

The search warrants describe the case as focused on an issue common to pawnshops — the possible buying and selling of stolen goods. Investigators from Home Depot complained that thefts at their Utah stores were increasing and told the Utah attorney general’s office they believed the merchandise was being fenced in pawnshops.

Utah pawnshops are required to enter the merchandise they buy and the seller’s information into a statewide database. Detectives from the attorney general’s office, the search warrants say, browsed Xtreme and Sportsman’s entries into the database to determine how many still-in-the-box items the shops were selling.

Investigators from eBay, the warrants say, reported accounts affiliated with the stores made $367,622 in sales in about 3½ years with 82 percent of that amount coming from items described as “new in the box.”


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