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Heroin, sports cards. Men seeking drug money sentenced in thefts from Kentucky shops

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A Tennessee man who helped steal nearly $200,000 of sports cards and other merchandise from stores in Kentucky and other states has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Thomas Kasemeyer was sentenced Thursday and also is liable for $198,775 in restitution along with Coy Lee Best, another Tennessee resident who took part in the thefts.

U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove sentenced both men. He previously ordered Best to spend two years in prison.

Best and Kasemeyer pleaded guilty to conspiring to transport stolen goods across state lines, according to federal court documents.

Lawyer: Best faced cancer diagnosis, suffered from drug addiction

Best’s attorney, Holly R. Iaccarino, said in a sentencing memorandum that Best had abused drugs, including opioid painkillers, for years but turned to heroin after he was diagnosed with cancer in 2020.

“The increased expense and addictive nature of heroin increased the pressure, in his words, to ‘do anything to get more money,’ which resulted in the criminal scheme for which he is presently being sentenced,” Iaccarino wrote.

Kasemeyer also was after money to get heroin, according to the sentencing memo.

The two burglarized stores in Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia, sometimes by smashing glass with a hammer, and sold the merchandise to stores in other states, according to court records.

Court records say the two men stole from two stores in Kentucky: Mount Sterling Baseball Cards on Jan. 12, 2022, and Kentucky Roadshow Shop in Lexington just five days later.

The biggest theft listed in court records was at Eddie’s Sports Treasures in Knoxville, Tennessee, where the two took merchandise valued at more than $53,000.

They sold many of the stolen items from the Knoxville store to a shop in Corbin, according to court records.