December 22, 2023
©GCR, illustration by Denis Carrier

A man serving a 20-year prison sentence in the US state of Georgia has received an additional sentence of seven years after being found guilty of stealing construction equipment using a contraband mobile phone.

Damon Thomas Young, 39, tried to steal equipment worth nearly $3m from dealers in a number of states, and succeeded in stealing around $500,000 worth before the scam was discovered.

Young, who is 11 years into a 20-year sentence imposed for racketeering and aggravated assault on a police officer, was incarcerated at Hays State Prison in Trion, Georgia at the time. He had numerous prior convictions including for impersonating a public officer, arson, forgery, burglary and arson, and theft by deception.

Before delving into heavy-machinery theft, his earliest possible release date was June 2030.

In 2019, Young adopted the alias “Morgan Sylvia” and posed as a purchasing officer with AbbVie, a real biopharmaceutical company. He ordered heavy construction equipment to be delivered in and around Ranger, Georgia, where he and his family lived, telling dealers AbbVie was building a new facility there. He would then put the equipment up for sale on Craigslist.

Among the equipment ordered were wheel loaders, skid steer loaders, an excavator, a horizontal grinder, and dump trucks. Young used his phone to communicate with equipment dealers by voice, text and email. He fraudulently completed credit applications, purchase…

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