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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 15, 2014

Two Vonore Residents Plead Guilty To Mail Theft In Tellico Village

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. –On Dec. 2, 2014, Sarah Jane Duncan, 38, of Vonore, Tenn., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to theft of mail and possessing the identification of another without lawful authority. Amber Dawn Thomas, 33, also of Vonore, Tenn., pleaded guilty to these same charges on Dec. 5, 2014. Both were indicted by a federal grand jury in March 2014.

Sentencing for both Duncan and Thomas has been set for April 1, 2015, in U.S. District Court, Knoxville. Each faces a sentence of up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Facts included in the plea agreement on file with the U.S. District Court show that in December 2013 a resident called the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office to report finding a grocery bag containing mail of multiple residents of Tellico Village. That same day, the sheriff’s department received a report of a small car stopping at all the residence mailboxes in the Tanasi Lagoon area of Tellico Village. Officers spotted the vehicle later that day and observed the driver removing something from a mailbox. Officers stopped the vehicle and identified the driver as Thomas and the passenger as Duncan. A search warrant was obtained, which resulted in the officers finding and recovering stolen mail from inside the vehicle. Both Thomas and Duncan admitted to stealing mail. Additionally, they admitted to placing some of the mail in a grocery bag and throwing it out in Tellico Village as well as dumping other mail at a convenience store. Cash was found in a medical boot worn by Thomas, which she admitted was obtained from the stolen mail. Additionally, checks were found in Thomas’s purse as well as recovered from the police cruiser used to transport Duncan and her to jail.

This case was investigated by the Loudon County Sheriff’s Department and U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kolman represents the United States.

Updated March 18, 2015