Member of organized retail theft ring pleads guilty to charge

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A member of an organized retail theft ring that allegedly stole tens of thousands of dollars in products from various retailers across Erie County pleaded guilty to a charge in connection, the Erie County District Attorney’s office said Wednesday.

Buffalo native Rico Small, 45, admitted that he was part of the ring. From October 2022 to September 2023, Small oversaw the operation, which employed others to steal items from retail stores throughout Erie County in exchange for financial compensation. Small and others would then sell stolen merchandise for profit.

The group is believed to be responsible for an estimated loss of $70,000.

He was charged with one count of enterprise corruption. He faces a maximum of 25 years in prison when he is sentenced on March 6.

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