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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Three Franklin County Residents Sentenced on Identity Theft Charges

St. Louis, MO – Three Franklin County, Missouri, residents have been sentenced for their participation in a conspiracy to commit identity theft and access device fraud in the Eastern District of Missouri.

 

According to court documents, John Dean Townsend stole the personal identification information of his customers while he was employed at an automotive dealership located in St. Louis County and sold the information to Jessica L. Franklin in exchange for quantities of methamphetamine and U.S. currency. Franklin used the stolen identification information to manufacture fraudulent Missouri Department of Revenue temporary driver’s licenses which Franklin and Jesse Ray Chitwood used to open lines of credit and purchase merchandise at various retailers throughout the Eastern District of Missouri.

 

Jessica L. Franklin, Beaufort, MO, pled guilty in October 2016 to one count of conspiracy to commit identity theft and one count of aggravated identity theft. She was sentenced in January 2017 to 45 months in the Bureau of Prisons.

 

Jesse Ray Chitwood, St. Clair, MO, pled guilty in September 2016 to one count of conspiracy to commit identity theft. He was sentenced in January 2017 to 24 months in the Bureau of Prisons.

 

John Dean Townsend, Pacific, MO, was sentenced today to 13 months on one felony count of conspiracy to commit identity theft and access device fraud.

 

All defendants appeared before United States District Judge John A. Ross.

 

This case was investigated by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office; the Washington, Missouri, Police Department; the Ballwin Police Department and the Kirkwood Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Roy handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Topic(s): 
Identity Theft
Updated February 2, 2017