June 5, 2009
APARTMENT MAILBOX BREAKS IN LEADS TO POSSESSION OF STOLEN MAIL, ACCESS DEVICE FRAUD AND AGGRAVATED IDENTITY THEFT CHARGES
(HOUSTON) – Gwendolyn Cheree Jackson, 30, of Houston, indicted on April 30, 2009, and charged with three counts of possession of stolen mail and one count each of access device fraud and aggravated identity theft, has been arrested by U.S. Postal Service inspectors, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. Jackson was arrested on Thursday, June 4, 2009, and is being held in custody pending an appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Calvin Botley today.
The investigation leading to the charges against Jackson was initiated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service following a series of mailbox break ins at an apartment complex on Fondren Road in Houston, which occurred between late December 2007 and May 2008. Investigating agents recovered a large amount of rifled mail to include an IRS stimulus check mailing envelope, various checkbooks, cancelled checks, credit card applications, a birth certificate, a Social Security card and other financial correspondence from banks – representing correspondence mailed to more than 150 postal patrons. The stolen mail has been linked to approximately $6,400 in losses, as of April 30, 2009, to various financial institutions including Wachovia, HSBC, Chase, JP Morgan and Smart Financial Credit Union. Each of the three theft of mail charges carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and up to three years of supervised release.
Jackson is also accused of unlawfully using banking access devices stolen from the mail (access device fraud) and aggravated identity theft. A conviction for access device fraud carries a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Aggravated identity theft is punishable by a mandatory minimum two-year-term of imprisonment which must be served consecutive to any prison term imposed for any other counts of conviction.
The case will be prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Tammie Y. Moore.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.
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