SARASOTA - The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has arrested two brothers for fencing stolen property out of their Sarasota convenience store.
On Tuesday, Sarasota Police and Sarasota County Sheriff's Deputies arrested the two men as they raided the Citgo Station on U.S. 301 and 10th Street.
During a six month joint operation with the Sarasota Police Department, undercover detectives sold thousands of dollars in what they said was stolen jewelry to 43-year-old Rami Ibsais and 41-year-old Saed Ebais of Bradenton. The arrest report lists the same address in Bradenton for both men, and Ibsais as the gas station's owner.
The transactions occurred on seven different occasions at the First Stop, 919 North Washington Boulevard.
Detectives arrested the men yesterday and executed a search warrant, seizing 150 pieces of gold jewelry and a significant amount of cash. The suspects had been buying gold jewelry for the past year and a half. Now, detectives from both agencies are working to try 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, but were not submitting the proper paperwork or documenting the transactions according to the Sarasota County ordinance.
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 is in this country on an expired visa so Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has placed a detainer on him. The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is conferring with federal authorities to determine if additional charges are appropriate.
The gas station also has check cashing and gold-buying services.