Pawn shop operator charged

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

A Knox County pawn shop owner faces felony charges after police opened an investigation on Feb. 15.

The owner and operator of the T & L Pawn Shop in Barbourville faces a list of charges that could put him behind bars for more than two decades. Police said this all started with one victim coming forward.

A complaint last month prompted police in Knox County to investigate suspicious activity at T & L Pawn Shop. Det. Steve Owens of the Barbourville Police Department said one woman said she had an agreement with owner Lewis Ray Gray to make monthly payments on a credit card from August until January.

“When January came apparently he would not return the card to her and continued to make the charges and that is when they did the math and realized,” said Owens.

The 45-year-old faces charges including Unlawful Access to a Computer, a class C felony along with Misuse of Electronic Information and Receipt of a Card in Violation of Kentucky Law, both class D felonies. Owens said the investigation is ongoing and would not comment on any future charges.

A search warrant issued last week revealed multiple bank cards and checks made out to "Cash," were seized from the shop, along with over $3,000 in cash. Computers and other electronic devices such as a modem, digital camera, iPods and an adapter were also taken.

Det. Owens confirmed that there were multiple cards found at the business.

“There were, we are still investigating the reasoning behind them being there and we have not determined why they were at the location,” said Owens.

The search warrant also revealed that some of the cards were found along with tax return packets. Police said they have sympathy for the alleged victims, but advise to never leave credit card or sensitive information with anyone.

“It is disheartening, it creates a situation that is somewhat difficult to investigate and has a lot of layers to it,” said Owens.
“Any time that any type of card leaves your possession you are endangering yourself to access to that card or your identity.”

Ray is out of jail and is expected in court on April 3. Ray’s attorney, Warren Scoville was called but WYMT was unable to reach him.


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