Former trucking boss goes to prison for his role in cargo theft ring

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 1/27/2015

The owner of a small Memphis trucking company will serve 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to his role as the leader of a cargo theft ring.

Earl Stanley Nunn, 59, pleaded guilty to one felony count of theft of an interstate shipment last July at the U.S. Court for the Western District of Missouri in Springfield, Mo. A sentencing hearing was held on Jan. 23. In addition to the prison sentence, he is ordered to serve three years of supervised release and pay restitution in the amount of $3,514,521.

According to the plea agreement, Nunn, the owner of Nu World Trucking LLC, was the leader of a cargo theft ring that used the resources of Nu World Trucking to steal cargo in various states. One codefendant in the case – Nunn’s nephew Michael Lee Sherley, 49, also of Memphis – pleaded guilty to the same charge in March 2014, and received a 33-month prison sentence. Nunn’s son, Roderick Nunn, entered a guilty plea in a related case in the Western District of Michigan and was sentenced last September to more than six years in prison.

Both Sherley and the elder Nunn pleaded guilty to their roles in a May 11, 2013, theft of a shipment of canned corn from the Snappy Mart Truck Stop in West Plains, Mo. The shipment, valued at $73,000, was bound for a food bank in Little Rock, Ark. Both men admitted that they traveled through Missouri and Indiana with the stolen cargo before being apprehended in Michigan.

Prosecutors charged that the cargo theft ring operated by driving a bobtail tractor through truck stops and service stations located on or near interstate highways, looking for parked or unattended trailers that were not coupled to road tractors. When they located a semitrailer that appeared to be unattended, they would steal the semitrailer and the goods it contained by hooking to it and driving off. After having stolen a semitrailer and its contents, the stolen goods were usually transported to the Chicago, Ill., and Detroit, Mich., areas to be “fenced” or sold.

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