I talked to the guy at the pawn shop at length.
He said that there is no requirement in this state to document purchases but, if the goods he buys come up as stolen, he can be on the hook for receiving stolen property. If he documents the sale, he'll be okay as long as he cooperates with the cops.
However, he'll still be out the money and the goods unless he sues for recovery. How likely would he be to recover from a crackhead looking for his next fix?
The owner said, if he thinks it's hinky, he lowballs they guy and only offers him $10.
Should the merchandise come up dirty, he's only out a few bucks.