Two Bradenton brothers are facing dealing in stolen property charges after an undercover investigation revealed they were selling stolen jewelry out of their Sarasota gas station.
Undercover detectives in a joint operation with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office and Sarasota Police Department visited the First Stop Citgo, 919 N. Washington Blvd., Sarasota, over a five month period when Rami Ibsais, 43 and Saed Ebsais, 41, both of 6023 44th Court East, Bradenton, sold law enforcement the jewelry, according to the probable cause affidavits.
Detectives arrested the brothers, who are citizens of Jordan, Tuesday after executing a search warrant and seizing 150 pieces of gold jewelry at the store along with an undisclosed, but significant, amount of cash, according to the sheriff's office.
The suspects sold gold jewelry for a year and a half, according to the sheriff's office, and detectives from both agencies started visiting the store in July for the investigation and continued through Nov. 29, with seven occasions of the men buying purported stolen jewelry from the undercover detectives.
The sheriff's office spent $5,577 to buy the stolen jewelry for its investigation, and is requesting restitution for the expense, according to the affidavit.
Now, detectives from both agencies are working to determine which of the items are stolen so they can be returned to their rightful owners.
The men had obtained a Second Hand Dealer license for the store but were not submitting the proper paperwork or documenting the transactions according to the Sarasota County ordinance. During the Nov. 29 visit, Ebsais provided the undercover detective with a black trash bag with $1,310 for the jewelry, conducting the sale outside of the store on a corner, according to the affidavit.
Ibsais is charged with three counts of Dealing in Stolen Property and six counts of Violating the Second Hand Dealer ordinance.
Ebsais is charged with two counts of Dealing in Stolen Property, two counts of Accessory to Dealing in Stolen Property and four counts of Violating the Second Hand Dealer ordinance.
Ebsais has an expired visa so Immigration and Customs Enforcement placed a detainer on him.
Federal authorities are weighing in to determine if additional charges are warranted, according to the sheriff's office.