A truck driver carrying chicken from the Pilgrim’s Pride Plant in Sumter, South Carolina, is in custody and charged with the theft of chicken he was to deliver to two locations in Milton, Georgia.
Christopher Thomas, 65, of Florence, South Carolina, was hired by Pilgrim’s Pride to deliver chicken and is accused of stealing the chicken for the purposes of selling it.
Investigators believe Thomas sold part of the load of chicken he was transporting to various locations. They said they believed him to be in the process of selling more when deputies performed a traffic stop.
With the help of a tip, a Sumter County Sheriff’s Office investigator was able to arrest Thomas with the assistance of a Lee County Sheriff’s Office investigator and Lee County deputies on Nov. 25.
Following the tip, law enforcement traveled to where Thomas had agreed to meet a buyer. Upon Thomas’ arrival at the predetermined location, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office investigator and the deputies from Lee County activated their blue lights and performed a traffic stop.
After confirming that the truck and its contents were the truck in question, Thomas consented to a search of the truck. When opened, the investigator saw pallets loaded with cases of frozen chicken confirmed to be pallets of stolen chicken from Pilgrim’s Pride. Thomas was then placed under arrest.
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Thomas was to deliver approximately 41,000 pounds of chicken valued at approximately $80,000. He was arrested with approximately seven pallets loaded with 215 cases of chicken weighing 8,000 pounds remaining. Authorities think that Thomas sold about 33,000 pounds of chicken.
Thomas was transported to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center and is being held on a $50,000 Surety Bond. He is being charged with Breach of Trust with Fraudulent intent by a value of $10,000 or more.
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