Man charged with paying drug addicts to shoplift at stores

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A West Virginia man is accused of organizing a network of shoplifters, many of them drug addicts, to steal thousands of items from stores and reselling them on the internet.

A federal prosecutor says a Cross Lanes man was charged Monday in a criminal complaint with acquiring nearly 3,700 stolen items that were later resold for profit.

The suspect, who is charged with money laundering, allegedly paid cash to the shoplifters for a fraction of the stolen items’ worth.

Prosecutors say nearly $370,000 in goods were stolen from popular grocery stores and pharmacies over a two-year period.

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