Pawn owner jailed

Published 12:03 am Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Andalusia man arrested in April for allegedly operating an illegal pawnshop was arrested again Friday – this time for failure to register as a convicted sex offender and working too close to a school and day care.

Sgt. Jason Curry with the Andalusia Police Department said Joel Rex Kelley, the 58-year-old operator of Kelley’s Bargain Spot, was out on bond after it was determined that Kelley did not have the correct license to operate a pawn shop.

Curry said the investigation began after APD recovered stolen property from the business. Kelley was then charged with 16 counts of failure to obtain a pawnshop license and receiving stolen property, and later released on a $58,000 bond.

It was then discovered that Kelley had a previous sexual battery conviction, which under Alabama law, requires him to register both his home address and place of employment with local law enforcement, Curry said. Law prohibits convicted sex offenders from living or working within 2,000 feet of a childcare facility or school – which in this case, meant Dimples Daycare and Andalusia Elementary School.

“Mr. Kelley was arrested on April 3, and had every opportunity between now and then to come in and register with the Andalusia Police Department,” Curry said. “He did not. When he was arrested in April, he was notified that he must comply with the law. An investigation started on May 21st showed that Mr. Kelley continued to work at the business, which is against the law because of sits location.”

Curry said Friday morning, Kelley was again placed in police custody – this time on charges of failure to register and failure to declare a workplace. Kelly was booked into the Covington County Jail on a $20,000; however, paperwork has been filed to have his bond revoked on his first set of charges, meaning he would remain in jail without bond.