Hearing waived by defense in Weekend Warrior case
The owners of the military surplus store, Weekend Warrior, will go to trial after they waived most of the charges against them to higher court on Thursday.
Both Denise A. Russell, 44, and Gary Lee Russell, 47, were charged with two counts each of corrupt organizations and three counts each of receiving stolen property and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, according to court records.
On Thursday, one of the corrupt organizations charges was changed during the preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge H. Anthony Adams.
The hearing began an hour and a half late after meetings between the attorneys.
The remaining charges were waived to Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas, and a formal arraignment is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 23.
The bail was modified from $1 million each to $500,000 each after a bail hearing. The couple remains in Cumberland County Prison.
On Sunday, Nov. 10, the owners of the military surplus store allegedly bought $75,000 worth of military uniforms and equipment from an undercover NCIS agent, according to court documents filed in District Judge H. Anthony Adams’ office.
As they purchased the allegedly stolen items, undercover agents observed other goods that were stolen and bought by the Russells on eBay, according to the warrant.
The Russells both indicated they were aware that they were purchasing stolen merchandise and that they wanted to purchase more items in the future, according to The Patriot News.
The Patriot News also reported Denise Russell paid the undercover agents for the delivery with two bank bags full of cash.
The Russells loaded the merchandise on a truck that undercover agents followed back to the Russells’ home on Whitmer Road where they conducted a search and recovered the property.
At 12:15 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, police vehicles surrounded the Russells’ store at 12 W. King St. Local Shippensburg Police and state police from Carlisle, according to The Shippensburg News-Chronicle, assisted NCIS authorities.
The case traces back to North Carolina where eight U.S. Marines were involved in “a complex conspiracy to break into U.S. government buildings, steal U.S. government property and sell it for profit,” according to the warrant.
A few of the Marines agreed to be informants for the NCIS to recover the property they sold to multiple buyers through the Internet.
The warrant says one of the informants identified Denise Russell to NCIS agents as someone who had purchased about $37,280 worth of stolen property from him.