CASTLE ROCK MAN WHO STOLE MORE THAN 900 PIECES OF MAIL GETS THREE YEAR PRISON TERM
Defendant was Arrested as He Tried to Cash First Stolen, Forged Check
CHAD ERIC RHODES, 27 of Castle Rock, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to three years in prison and three years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft and Possession of Stolen Mail, and Aggravated Identity Theft. RHODES pleaded guilty November 2, 2006, and was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton.
According to records filed in the case, RHODES and co-defendant Kristine Davis, 21, of Vancouver, Washington, spent July 2, 2006, stealing mail. They stole more than 900 items from 170 mailboxes in Lewis and Cowlitz Counties. The next day the couple attempted to cash one of the checks they had stolen. They made the check out for $350 and tried to cash it at the drive through window of the Sterling Savings Bank in Chehalis, Washington. The alert teller realized that the signature on the check was a forgery, because the account holder was dead. The teller called police and RHODES and Davis were arrested.
Davis was sentenced for Conspiracy and Aggravated Identity Theft on February 16, 2007, to two years in prison.
RHODES was prosecuted federally with the 2004 Aggravated Identity Theft statute that mandates an additional 24 month term on top of the sentence imposed for an underlying crime. In this case RHODES is getting 24 months for Aggravated Identity Theft following a twelve month sentence for Conspiracy. The United States Attorney’s Office has a new working group assigned to prosecute qualifying Aggravated Identity Theft cases under the federal statute.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and the Chehalis Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Arlen Storm.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Information Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.