Man pleaded guilty in Buffalo of leading large shoplifting ring

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Stillwater, New York resident pleaded guilty in Buffalo to helping lead a racketeering conspiracy in which he offloaded $700,000 in store merchandise.

Terry Stewart, 35, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Stewart was part of an organized shoplifting ring which stole merchandise like breast pumps, whitening strips, cross stitch and needlepoint kits, electronic toothbrushes, thumb drives, pet supplements, razors and tool sets from stores like Walmart, Sears, Home Depot, JoAnn Fabrics, Tops and Wegmans.

Also named in the case is Rico Vendetti. Vendetti is alleged to be the outlet which Stewart unloaded his merchandise to. It was sold at a value of 25 cents to the dollar. Vendetti allegedly sold the merchandise on eBay for half the retail value to mostly customers outside of New York.

Vendetti is also the subject of a murder investigation with three other people from Rochester.

Stewart’s sentencing is scheduled for March 16.

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