Local News

Brothers, father arrested in pawn shop raid

Posted August 21, 2008 5:54 a.m. EDT
Updated August 22, 2008 11:23 a.m. EDT

— 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.”