Published 4:16 pm Friday, April 1, 2022
By FROM STAFF REPORTS
A local pawn shop owner has been charged with multiple offenses after allegedly selling stolen property and paying undercover officers for items with illegal drugs.
Michael Kevin Williams, the owner of EZ Pawn Shop located at 1028 Hogansville Road, was arrested on Friday by the LaGrange Police Department with the assistance of the Troup County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia Lottery Commission and Home Depot Asset Protection. Williams was transported to the Troup County Jail where he was booked for retail property fencing (4 counts), failure to maintain pawn broker records, commercial gambling and distribution of a schedule IV narcotic (3 counts).
Williams is accused of knowingly buying and selling stolen property from Home Depot and other retail locations in LaGrange, according to a press release from the LPD.
As a part of the investigation, the LPD conducted undercover operations that confirmed Williams was purchasing property (primarily power tools) that he believed were actually stolen from Home Depot. Williams then placed the items for sell in his business and online and sold them as though they were legally acquired.
In three incidents, he paid undercover officers with schedule IV narcotics (valium) as well as cash payments.
During the investigation, officers also learned the pawn shop had a separate game room where customers could play video gambling machines. During one occasion, an undercover police officer was paid in cash instead of store credit for their winnings.
At the time of Williams’ arrest, a search of the location uncovered approximately $20,000 in retail property that was linked back to Home Depot and other retail businesses in LaGrange and surrounding areas. The LPD also said Williams had no records to show what property had been taken into this location or who the property was sold or pawned by.
The property that could be traced was seized following the arrest.