HOUSTON - Several men have been accused of trying to buy stolen merchandise.
Local 2 investigates has learned an undercover sting operation by the Houston Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, has netted three arrests.
A Harris County prosecutor said in court that the men were trying to buy $167,000 worth of jewelry stolen in recent smash-and-grab-style robberies across the Houston area.
Nearly 20 pawn shops and jewelry stores have been targeted in the Houston area since December.
All three of the men recently arrested have the same last name, but their relationship is unclear.
Esequiel Mosqueda, 37, and Hugo Mosqueda, 33, have been charged with organized criminal activity, along with Julio Mosqueda, whose age has not been released.
According to the prosecution, each of the three men agreed to purchase merchandise supposedly stolen in the rash of smash-and-grab crimes earlier this year, including 70 gold rings.
The men were jailed but have since been released on $20,000 bond each. They are due back in court June 19.
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