News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California

Rough and Ready Man Found Guilty After Nevada County Crime Spree

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
 

www.usdoj.gov/usao/cae

usacae.edcapress@usdoj.gov

 

Docket #: 2:11-cr-476 TLN

 

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal jury found Jasen Lynn Dushane, 38, of Rough and Ready, guilty of one count of possession of stolen United States mail, one count of possession of unauthorized access devices with intent to defraud, and aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. The jury returned guilty verdicts after a five-day trial before United States District Judge Troy L. Nunley.

According to testimony presented at trial, on June 5, 2011, at approximately 2:25 a.m., a Nevada County sheriff’s deputy observed a silver Lexus sedan southwest of Nevada City. He checked the license plate number of the Lexus and confirmed that it was reported stolen. The deputy initiated a vehicle stop and directed the driver to turn off the engine. Although the driver initially complied, he restarted the engine and drove off. A vehicle chase ensued for nearly 1.5 miles on dark and muddy Black Forest Road. The two occupants of the Lexus fled from the vehicle, but not before the driver threw the Lexus into reverse, sending it backward toward the deputy and ultimately down an embankment. Law enforcement officers were unable to find the male driver, but they found the passenger, Manda Lynn Wentzloff, hiding in some nearby brush. Wentzloff identified the driver as Dushane. Dushane was arrested later that day in Grass Valley while attempting to pick up a police scanner that he had ordered using a stolen credit card.

According to court documents, Wentzloff told officers that she and Dushane had been stealing mail and other items from mailboxes and a residence in and around Nevada County. She said that she and Dushane had stolen a BMW vehicle during the course of their activities, and that it was parked outside her and Dushane’s motel room in Reno. They searched the hotel room, the Lexus, and the BMW and found bags, folders, and other containers full of opened and unopened U.S. mail with recipient addresses in Nevada County and Las Vegas. Officers also found photocopies of credit cards and various official identification documents, credit cards, opened bank and credit card statements, and personal checks. In total, more than a thousand pieces of stolen mail were recovered.

Acting Inspector in Charge Rafael Nunez of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, San Francisco Division stated: “We work closely with the U.S. Attorney Office and our partners in law enforcement to arrest and prosecute those who steal mail for criminal gain. A primary goal of the Postal Inspection Service is to protect postal customer’s mail and ensure that their mail is safe from theft.”

This case is the product of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Jared S. Dolan and Nirav K. Desai prosecuted the case.

Dushane is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Nunley on November 21, 2013. The maximum statutory penalties for possessing stolen U.S. mail and possessing at least 15 unauthorized access devices are five and 10 years in prison, respectively. The mandatory sentence for aggravated identity theft is two years in prison, to be served consecutive to any other sentence. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

On May 5, 2012, Wentzloff pleaded guilty to one count of possession of stolen mail. She is scheduled to be sentenced on September 12, 2013. She faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

 

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