Seven People Indicted in Overlapping Identity Theft and Illegal Gun-Buying Schemes Appear in Federal Court
BIRMINGHAM -- Five of seven people indicted late last month in overlapping identity theft and illegal gun-purchasing conspiracies were arraigned today in federal court. The two other defendants, including Quantrey Kantrell Bryant, who is charged with both conspiracies, were arraigned on their charges earlier. All seven were arrested June 10.
U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Craig Caldwell, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael Durham, and U.S. Postal Inspector Frank Dyer announced the court appearances.
Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge John E. Ott today arraigned CHRISTINA LATASHA PEAVY, 34, of Bessemer, and MARQUETTE JERRELL HARRIS, 29, of Birmingham, on a charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Harris also was arraigned on several counts of aggravated identity theft.
DAVID MICHAEL CHAVIS, 30, CURTIS GLENN ROBINSON, 27, and NORMAN STANTON, 33, all of Bessemer, were each arraigned on a charge of conspiracy to illegally purchase guns.
U.S. Magistrate Judge T. Michael Putnam on June 13 granted bond to LANCE DARRELL ALEXANDER, 32, of Midfield, and on Monday ordered Bryant, 27, of Birmingham, detained pending trial.
Bryant is charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in a scheme to defraud multiple credit card holders and issuers, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to illegally obtain firearms and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Alexander is charged with the conspiracy to illegally obtain firearms, along with Bryant, Chavis, Robinson and Stanton.
According to the indictment, the mail and wire fraud scheme was carried out as follows: Bryant had a friend who worked as a customer-service representative for a California company. The friend supplied Bryant with information about the company's customers, including credit and debit card information. Bryant used the information in a variety of fraudulent ways, including using fraudulent credit cards to buy guns and cars. The indictment charges that Harris and Peavy helped Bryant conduct the credit fraud.
The indictment further charges that, because Bryant was a convicted felon prohibited from possessing guns, he had Chavis, Robinson and Stanton, who were not convicted felons, complete required background-check paperwork to convince gun sellers they were buying the weapons. Alexander helped Bryant resell the guns, according to the indictment.
Conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud affecting federally insured financial institutions carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Aggravated identity theft carries a penalty of two years in prison, which must be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed for the crime. Conspiracy to obtain firearms illegally carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The Secret Service, Postal Inspection Service and ATF investigated the case, with assistance from the Bessemer Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Atwood is prosecuting the case.
An indictment contains charges. Defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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