Russian crime ring busted; 5 men arrested

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TUCSON -- A Russian crime ring operating in the Tucson and Phoenix areas has been busted after a six-month investigation by Tucson police.

Police say the large group of Russian immigrants had opened several pawn shops that were being used as fronts to traffic stolen property.

The ring members also are believed to have been involved in burglaries as well as weapons and narcotics violations.

Police say the bust was made Tuesday after undercover officers infiltrated the group and began trading and selling purported stolen merchandise to the owners of the stores.

They say the organized crime group has national and international connections with money transfers going to Russia and New York.

Police say five men were arrested in connection with the bust.

Information from: Arizona Daily Star

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