Jury Convicts Massachusetts Man of Leading January 2009 Burglary of Brinks Facility in Columbus
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 26, 2011|
COLUMBUS—A U.S. District Court jury here today convicted Sean D. Murphy, aka Brian Heatherman, age 47, of Lynn, Massachusetts of masterminding and carrying out the January 18, 2009 burglary of a Brinks facility in Columbus.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Edward J. Hanko, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cincinnati Division (FBI); and Columbus Police Chief Walter Distelzweig announced the verdict returned at the conclusion of the trial that began October 17 before Senior U.S. District Judge George C. Smith.
The jury convicted Murphy on all four counts in the indictment against him including one count of conspiracy to transport stolen goods and two counts of traveling in interstate commerce with intent to promote unlawful activity. Each crime is punishable by up to five years in prison. Murphy was also convicted of interstate transportation of stolen property, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
According to testimony presented during the trial, the men used rental vehicles to travel from the Boston, Massachusetts metropolitan area to Columbus, Ohio. Once they arrived in Columbus and established that all Brinks employees had gone home for the evening, they were able to gain entry into the facility by cutting holes into the roof of the facility. Once inside, they gained limited entrance into the vault using a high intensity torch. Sparks from the torch ignited money and materials inside the vault, which severely limited the amount of money they were able to obtain. Brinks authorities’ determined that the total loss to the company resulting from the burglary was $2,747,306.55.
Evidence presented at trial revealed that Murphy used fraudulent documents to rent a truck in New Hampshire and a storage facility in Pennsylvania prior to the burglary. Murphy, along with two other Lynn, Massachusetts men, Joseph M. Morgan, age 28, and Robert Doucette, age 41, drove to Columbus from Boston, broke in and burglarized the facility, took items to the Pennsylvania storage facility and drove back to the Boston area.
Morgan and Doucette pleaded guilty in April 2011 to one count of conspiracy and one count of transporting stolen merchandise and money across state lines.
Stewart commended the investigation by FBI agents in Columbus and Boston, and Columbus Police detectives, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorneys Salvador A. Dominguez and Heather Hill, who are prosecuting the case. Stewart also thanked state and local law enforcement agencies in Massachusetts who contributed to the investigation.
Judge Smith will set a sentencing date for Murphy, who will remain in custody until sentencing.