William Voight Jr. second man to plead guilty in Westhampton sterling silver thefts
NORTHAMPTON — A second man involved in the sale of stolen sterling silver flatware and antiques admitted to his role Thursday in Hampshire Superior Court.
William J. Voight Jr., 27, formerly of Montgomery, pleaded guilty before Judge Bertha Josephson to a charge of receiving stolen property over $250. Josephson sentenced him to two years of probation.
Voight admitted he sold about $100,000 worth of antique silver flatware to a precious metals dealer in Holyoke on behalf of Peter Dowers of Chicopee with the knowledge that the items were stolen. Dowers paid Voight $300 for completing the sale for him.
A jury convicted Dowers last week of receiving stolen property over $250. He was sentenced to 2½ years in jail.
Police discovered some of the stolen items at the metals dealer during their investigation into a reported robbery in Westhampton in June 2011.
Voight was identified as the person who brought the items in for sale, according to Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Jayme Parent, who prosecuted he case.
In court Parent cited Voight’s lack of significant criminal record and his cooperation with investigators, including offering testimony at Dowers’ trial, as reasons for recommending a sentence she characterized as “a break.”
Parent said the victims of the Westhampton robbery agreed Voight was “not the primary actor” in the robbery and resale of the valuables.
Voight’s defense attorney, Alan Rubin of the Committee for Public Counsel Services, said his client was “in the throes of a fairly serious drug addiction,” when he agreed to pawn the stolen items.
Rubin said Voight has been in a rehabilitation program and has been working on furthering his education since his arrest.
While on probation, Voight must pay $1,350 in restitution, not use any alcohol or drugs except those prescribed to him and be subject to random screenings, attend substance abuse treatment if warranted, maintain employment or education, and have no contact with the victims.
Josephson reminded Voight that “serious consequences could befall” him if he violates the conditions of his probation, including a potential five-year state prison sentence on the charge of receiving stolen property.
Bob Dunn can be reached at email@example.com.