Stockton Couple Plead Guilty To Charges Stemming From Large-Scale U.S. Mail Theft And Bank Fraud Investigation
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Stockton residents Rudy A. Trujillo, 35, and Regina L. Perea, 34, pleaded guilty today to three counts each of aggravated identification theft related to the fraudulent use of identification documents of others, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Stockton office of the United States Postal Inspection Service and the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office with assistance from the Stockton and San Jose police departments, the Placer County Sheriff's Office, and the Delta Regional Auto Theft Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Rodriguez is prosecuting the case.
San Francisco Division Inspector in Charge Rafael Nunez of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service stated: "We are working closely with the U.S. Attorney's Office and our partners in law enforcement to arrest and prosecute all those responsible for stealing U.S. Mail and using the contents of stolen U.S. Mail in furtherance of fraud and identity theft crimes."
According to court documents, Trujillo and Perea possessed hundreds of pieces of stolen U.S. mail, along with hundreds of stolen checks, credit cards and identification documents at their Stockton residence. During the January 21, 2014, search of their residence, law enforcement recovered the stolen mail and found evidence indicating that the defendants were altering checks, and manufacturing credit cards. During the search, Trujillo and Perea successfully fled from law enforcement, and a high-speed chase ensued through Stockton residential streets. On March 7, 2014, Trujillo and Perea were arrested in San Jose. Upon arrest, the defendants were driving a stolen vehicle with stolen license plates and were again in possession of a large quantity of stolen U.S. mail, checks, credit cards, and identification documents. Perea had assumed the identity of at least two additional female victims while she and Trujillo were on the run from law enforcement.
Trujillo and Perea are scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. on August 7, 2014. They face a mandatory minimum sentence of 24 months for each of the three aggravated identity theft convictions. 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.