News and Press Releases


FRIDAY - September 5, 2008



RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court here on September 3, 2008, United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, sentenced JOE LEWIS JEFFERSON, 33, of Littleton, North Carolina, to 156 months’ imprisonment.

A Federal Grand Jury returned Criminal Indictments against JEFFERSON on May 2, 2007 and August 2, 2007. On December 17, 2007, JEFFERSON pled guilty to identity fraud and felon in possession of a firearm.

In 2006, an investigation was begun into individuals stealing mail from mailboxes in the Halifax County area. The investigation revealed that JEFFERSON was the leader of the group and that he and others were using identities obtained from the stolen mail to open accounts, cash checks, obtain loans and to pass stolen checks. Between June, 2006, and April, 2007, JEFFERSON used stolen checks and identification documents to defraud businesses out of tens of thousands of dollars. On January 3, 2007, JEFFERSON was stopped for a moving violation. After finding that JEFFERSON’s driver’s license had been revoked, a search of the vehicle revealed a loaded forearm, an empty liquor bottle, and a marijuana roach.

JEFFERSON has several previous convictions of breaking and entering, injury to personal property, and larceny, and convictions of resisting or obstructing a public officer and forgery of endorsement.

Mr. Holding commented: “Identity theft and the fraud that flows from it is one of the most serious crimes facing our communities and citizens today. Judge Dever’s sentence sends a clear message that these crimes will not be tolerated.”

Investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office and the Roanoke Rapid, Virginia, Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Gaston Williams served as prosecutor for the government.


News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at within 48 hours of release.

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