Arrest of fugitive leads to stolen DVDs, shoes

SOMERSET — Police recovered an estimated $1 million worth of stolen goods after arresting a federal fugitive in Pulaski County.

Jack Roberts, 44, of Lebanon, Tenn., told police about rented storage buildings in Somerset that held $540,000 worth of DVDs and $360,000 worth of Puma tennis shoes, according to a news release.

He also gave information to state police that led to the recovery of a stolen semi truck and two trailers valued at a total of $90,000, police said.

Roberts had been selling stolen goods at a flea market in Pulaski County, said Sheriff Todd Wood.

The case started in September after a trucking company reported someone had stolen $15,300 worth of Misty Blue Light Slims cigarettes from a truck in Lebanon, Tenn., according to federal and state court records and interviews.

With the help of an electronic locating device placed in the shipment by the manufacturer, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., police were able to track the stolen cigarettes to storage units in Lebanon rented to Roberts, according to an affidavit from Lawrence Alt, an agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Federal authorities charged Roberts, but he was a fugitive. On Nov. 1, Pulaski County Deputy Danny Pevley found Roberts at a truck stop east of Somerset when he went to check out a report of a suspicious person, and learned through a computer check that Roberts was wanted on a federal charge, according to a citation.

Roberts was returned to Tennessee to face federal charges there. His son, a 17-year-old whose name was not released, also was charged.

"This case is an excellent example of what can be achieved when federal, state and local law enforcement agencies join forces," state police Commissioner Rodney Brewer said in a news release. "The results are greater than each agency could have achieved alone."