LEBANON, Pa. — A Lebanon City business owner and four employees are charged with violating Pennsylvania’s Pawnbrokers License Act. Larry Ardell Jones, 51, owner of JT’s Buy and Sell at 49 South 8th Street is also charged with owning prohibited offense weapons. Jones was found to be in possession of three shotguns with barrel lengths less than 18 inches that were found in his home during the execution of a search warrant on March 31.
After the closure of JT’s Buy and Sell, investigators were contacted by people claiming to have left items of property with the store in exchange for short term loans. These people claimed they had to repay the loan by a certain day or they would forfeit their rights to their property. The described circumstances meet the definition of “pawning” and required a license issued by the Department of Banking which then regulates the amount of interest and duration of such loans. Investigators found JT’s Buy & Sell was not licensed to engage in these transactions.
Charges were also filed Friday against four employees, Dwaine N. Wike 38, of Lebanon is alleged to have held a charge level position with the business, to include managing the store as well as posting items for sale and shipping items sold on eBay.
Wike was charged with Corrupt Organizations, Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activities, Organized Retail Theft, Receiving Stolen Property, Criminal Conspiracy, Person not to Possess or Control a Firearm and a violation of the Pawnbroker’s License Act. The firearms charge stem from weapons discovered within the business during a search warrant executed on March 31.
Gary L. Stegall 28, of Lebanon, Shaun Allen Gettle 35, of Womelsdorf, and William C. Taylor 23, of Myerstown were each charged via summons with Corrupt Organizations, Receiving Stolen Property and Criminal Conspiracy – Organized Retail Theft.
Investigators allege during the course of their duties, Stegall, Gettle and Taylor routinely purchased merchandise they knew, or had reason to believe was stolen.
Wike appeared today before MDJ Maria Dissinger where he was arraigned and released on bail.