By Brad Segall
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – A New Jersey man who Montgomery County prosecutors say was the brains behind a sophisticated retail theft ring that preyed on Target stores in 11 counties in Pennsylvania (see related story) is headed to state prison.
A Montgomery County judge sentenced Damian Gasdaska to 15 months to four years behind bars in connection with the operation that resulted in more than $24,000 worth of merchandise being stolen. Prosecutors say Gasdaska and his co-defendants would use homemade UPC labels to purchase items for less than their value then sell those items on eBay.
Defense attorney Michael Quinn was hoping for a county sentence and work release so the 36-year-old man could support his family.
“We knew he was going to go to jail…it was just a question of was where…we’re both very disappointed that he’s going to go upstate…that seems to be a little excessive relative to his behavior…cause he made full restitution and he plead guilty and he cooperated with law enforcement,” Quinn said.
He plans to file a motion to reconsider the sentence.
Prosecutors say the ring generated more than $170,000 from the stolen goods. They also used false and stolen identities to cover up their crimes.