First of Three Atlanta Men Charged with Theft of Mail Pleads Guilty
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri
St. Louis - The first of three Atlanta-area men charged last month with stealing mail as part of an identity theft ring pleaded guilty this morning. Willie Joe Trice, 28, of Atlanta, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal mail and faces up to five years’ imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 or both.
According to court documents, Trice admitted that, when he was stopped by St. Charles County police late in the evening of August 6, 2018, he had stolen mail from a business in the area and intended to acquire personally identifiable information from the mail and use that information on counterfeit checks and access devices. Trice also admitted he had traveled to the St. Louis area from Atlanta for the purpose of obtaining personal information to be used in the conspiracy.
Trice appeared before U.S. District Judge Catherine D. Perry who accepted his plea and deferred sentencing until December 20, 2018. Trice remains in federal custody pending sentencing.
“It is rare to apprehend an identity thief in the act of stealing personal information. Too often, these offenders are not identified until they have stolen information and successfully exploited it many times. Thanks to the good work of this federal-local investigation, that will not be the case here,” said U.S. Attorney Jeffrey B. Jensen.
The case was investigated by the St. Charles County Police Department and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service with assistance from the St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Tom Albus is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Updated September 21, 2018