Local News

Brothers, father arrested in pawn shop raid

Posted August 21, 2008
Updated August 22, 2008

— Johnston County deputies arrested two brothers and their father during a raid on a pawn shop Wednesday night as part of a two-year undercover investigation.

Brothers Joseph R. Murray and Michael Murray, who own Murray's Pawn shop on U.S. Highway 301, bought stolen goods and ran a drug operation out of the business, authorities said.

Their father, Joseph Murray Jr., was arrested after he showed up with a concealed weapon during the sheriff’s raid, authorities said. It was unclear if he was involved in any illegal activities at the pawn shop.

Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell said deputies found stolen property, guns and drugs during the late-night raid.

While his office suspected the pawn shop was dealing in illegal goods for the past two years, Bizzell said the arrests didn't become possible until informants and undercover agents infiltrated the store.

“We’re excited tonight. We seized this and closed this store down for now,” Bizzell said. “Apparently, (the brothers) were accepting stolen items that apparently were stolen from Lowe’s stores."

Shortly after getting warrants to search the pawn shop, deputies arrested the Murray brothers. Their arrests came after a multi-county investigation into the sale of drugs and stolen goods at the store, officials said.

The brothers also sold stolen property online, authorities said. Investigators seized two cars and a truck at the scene and said they found guns and drugs inside them.

Deputies were still hauling evidence out of the store Thursday morning.

“(The Murray brothers) are no strangers. We know who they are,” Bizzell said. “They’ve been in the court system. The courts failed (and) did not do their jobs. That’s why we’re here tonight.”


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  • original intent Aug 21, 2008

    Unstable must be from the high rent district of Johnston County!
    perhaps Smithfield or Clayton?? I have lived in FO all my life and it ain't as bad as 2/3 of the rest of the county..b4self can tell ya all about Selma...I can easily say Benson's "Most Wanted" are doing their best to make Benson "South-Selma"!! And as bngexpress ,,said anyone with their ears open,,knew what was going down at the old ex-pool room!

  • shortcake53 Aug 21, 2008

    wow, they sound like a full service family! you can get used jewelry, stereo equip, drugs, guns, whatever your lookin for! im glad they are now out of business, at least for a while. maybe thats why Lowes is always out of what i needed, i should have shopped with the brothers.

  • b4self Aug 21, 2008

    unstable I was raised in Selma {don't tell anyone}anyway Four Oaks looks like Cary compared to what has happened to Selma, it went from a small family town to drug infested on every corner while leo look the other way.Just my opion.

  • chastity25 Aug 21, 2008

    As a person who has no criminal record and a mother, who depends on someone who has done wrong yet is now doing right i feel that each case has to be looked at closely. Those who have changed their life the courts and steve keep trying to hurt just because they made bad choices. We can't judge others because we haven't walked in their shoes, and doesn't it say only God can judge. We have to answer to him on judgement day, and steve is not God. As for the drugs yes he should get them out of jo co but capt fish does that.

  • Trivr Aug 21, 2008

    I'd like to see photos of those arrested.

  • therose2005 Aug 21, 2008

    Sheriff Bizzell he`s the man with the plans, maybe he will get our county cleaned up!

  • bngexpress Aug 21, 2008

    for those of you whom are not aware the town of four oaks is as good as any in johnston co, good hard working country folks , most of them,and anyone whom paid any attention at all saw this coming a mile away!many thanks go out to the johnston co.sheriff,and his staff,thanks for the job that you all do.now sheriff lets bring in a couple of busses from ins and load them up.

  • leebmad Aug 21, 2008

    "No new out of Four Oaks suprises me. It's the pits of Johnston county. Drugs, moonshine, you name it. It's in Four Oaks. I've lived in Johnston County all my life and Four Oaks always seems to have way more than their fair share of issues".

    This coming from someone calling themselves "unstable", doesn't bother me a whole lot. I have lived in several different areas, and have never found anywhere better than home.Four Oaks is a great place to live and if you don't like it, the road always goes in the other direction so take it.

  • BULLDOZER Aug 21, 2008

    Finally, LEO's have figured where to recover stolen goods. Maybe now we can star to quell some of the illegal fencing going on in our area. If things get worse in the economy, as winter approaches theft will only get worse if left unchecked.

  • Historian snuck back in Aug 21, 2008

    Steve Bizzel is my neighbor and friend, I think overall he has done an excellent job for our county. No matter what a LEO does, they will never be able too catch all the bad guys. I have been broken into twice, never recovered any property. Armed robbery once, sent one guy to prison for five years, the other one got away. Even though they never recovered my property, my case is only a snapshot in the grand scheme of crime that goes in Johnston County. When you put all of those snapshots together, the Jonston County Sherrif's office, is a winner hands down!!! And I for one appreciate the risks they take and the job that they do for my family. It hasn't been but about 10 years ago that we lost one of our finest deputies in the line of duty, Paul West, serving a routine warrant trying to assist Wake County. The man seemed harmless enough and asked Paul if he could go put his shirt on before they left, Paul let him. The man came out blasting and Paul died. They all deserve our respect.....