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Customers come to Discount Auto Sound on Georgia Avenue NW for a new car stereo, but something illegal was also allegedly being offered. After a raid yesterday, police say that one employee at the stereo store offered guns, cash, or heroin in exchange for stolen “hot” goods.
The stereo business was allegedly the location of an illegal fencing operation that the Metropolitan Police Department officially brought down yesterday. Police arrested a 39-year-old employee of the store, Tom Van Huynh, for distributing heroin and trafficking and receiving stolen property.
The investigation into Van Huynh began when undercover police came into the 16th Street Heights store with what they portrayed as stolen cell phones and tablets and allegedly traded them with the employee for heroin, cash, and a gun. The investigation was prompted by a string of robberies in the neighborhood.
Police searched the store yesterday and seized allegedly stolen goods. At Van Huynh’s Maryland home, another search allegedly turned up more illicit goods: three handguns, an AK-47 assault rifle, a shotgun, ammunition, prescription painkillers, and more than $26,000 in cash. Police also found something that must have looked awfully familiar—a car with working police lights, police credentials, and equipment, MPD Chief Cathy Lanier said.
Taking down fencing operations in places like Discount Auto Sound is a key component in reducing the robberies involved in the fencing, but can also reduce auto thefts, Lanier said.