Cottage Grove retailer charged with trafficking stolen goods

  • Article by: DAN BROWNING , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 18, 2008 - 12:11 AM

The man sold stolen DVDs and electronics equipment on the Internet and at an Oakdale storefront.

A Cottage Grove man who sold stolen DVDs and electronic equipment on the Internet and through a retail outlet in Oakdale has been charged in federal court with trafficking in stolen property.

John T. Jundt, CEO of InetDVD.com, was charged by federal prosecutors on Wednesday with buying and selling more than $100,000 in stolen merchandise between August 2006 and Sept. 15, 2007.

The Star Tribune reported in December that state and federal investigators had traced millions of dollars in stolen DVDs, video games and high-end electronics gear to organized shoplifting gangs and two east-metro retail stores that sold their goods on the Internet.

Nearly 100 so-called "boosters" are suspected of stealing the merchandise from Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy stores throughout the Midwest and selling it to the east-metro companies for pennies on the dollar.

Investigators seized two semitrailer loads of merchandise from the stores in late September.

The charging document was made public Thursday.

When defendants are charged in this manner, rather than by a federal grand jury indictment, it generally indicates that they are cooperating with authorities.

Besides InetDVD, the other retailer was identified as Media Exchange 123 in Woodbury's Valley Creek Mall.

U.S. Postal Inspector Troy Sabby said the businesses, which are not related, had been reselling the stolen property as high-quality "used" goods through eBay, Amazon.com and their own Internet and retail outlets.

Most of the suspected shoplifters have criminal records, he said.

The busiest shoplifting ring had about 30 people and delivered an estimated retail value of $3 million, said Woodbury detective Chris Huhn, who launched the investigation.

Jundt, 31, could not be reached for comment.

But he said earlier that he was cooperating with authorities and had voluntarily ceased operations.

Media Exchange owner Christopher Janota declined to comment on the case.

"I haven't heard anything for months. I guess I'm not going to comment on pending litigation," said Janota, 39, of St. Paul.

Dan Browning • 612-673-4493

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