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Press Release

Hyattsville Man Sentenced to Seven and a Half Years in Federal Prison for a Scheme to Defraud Banks Using Stolen and Altered Checks

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland
Defendant Stole Checks from U.S. Postal Collection Boxes and Caused a Loss of More than $35,000 to Victims

Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chaung sentenced Rodney Jerrod Jefferson, age 29, of Hyattsville, Maryland to seven and a half years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Judge Chaung has also ordered Jefferson to pay a total of $35,100.17 in restitution.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron and Postal Inspector in Charge Daniel A. Adame of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division.

According to his plea agreement, from May 2018 to August 2019, Jefferson conspired with Michael Deandre Packer, age 38, of Washington, D.C. and others to rob postal workers, steal at least 1,000 checks from postal collection boxes worth more than $1.5 million, and deposit the stolen checks into fraudulent bank accounts.

For example, on October 14, 2018, Packer robbed a postal worker in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  Prior to the robbery, the postal carrier saw Packer in a black Infiniti vehicle.  Investigators later determined Packer had purchased the Infiniti G37 the day before the robbery using an altered or fictitious check and a fraudulent driver’s license bearing Packer’s photograph. 

On December 14, 2018, officers stopped Packer while driving a Audi A7. Investigators later determined that Packer purchased the Audi using a counterfeit $25,000 check. Inside the vehicle, officers located a key used to open postal collection boxes, 119 stolen checks worth $102,260, stolen mail, 130 grams of marijuana, and Packer’s cell phone. A review of the cell phone communications revealed conversations between Packer and Jefferson about negotiating stolen checks, the purchase of firearms, and photographs of firearms.  During a subsequent search warrant executed at Packer’s residence, investigators found another key used to open postal collections boxes, more than 1,000 stolen checks worth in excess of $1.5 million, as well as fraudulent driver’s licenses and credit cards.

On February 27, 2019, investigators executed a search warrant at Jefferson’s residence and found several keys used to open postal collection boxes, stolen checks from different states, deposit receipts and credit cards in other individuals’ names, and a magnetic stripe reader used for encoding credit cards. The issuers of the stolen checks reported to investigators that they deposited the checks into the U.S. Postal Service collection boxes, but the checks were never delivered.

As stated in his plea agreement, four months later on June 18, 2019, investigators arrested Jefferson near Seabrook, Maryland where Jefferson was driving a stolen Cadillac CTS. During a search of Jefferson’s vehicle, investigators found 160 stolen personal checks in various stages of alteration, multiple credit cards in different names, a credit card embosser, and a loaded handgun.

Less than two months later, on August 5, 2019, Jefferson used a rented truck to steal mail from postal collection boxes in Alexandria, Virginia. Three days later, law enforcement stopped Jefferson while he was driving the same rental truck and inside the truck located debit and electronic payment cards in other individuals’ names, additional stolen and altered checks, an ATM deposit receipt matching the information one of the fraudulently obtained debit cards, and a fraudulent driver’s license displaying Jefferson’s photograph.

Over the course of the conspiracy, Packer and Jefferson were recorded on bank surveillance video cashing and negotiating several fraudulent checks and withdrawing the fraud proceeds. Jefferson also admitted to using fraud proceeds to purchase U.S. Postal money orders.  In total, Jefferson obtained at least $24,244 proceeds as a result of the conspiracy. Jefferson, Packer and their co-conspirators caused victims an actual loss of at least $35,100.17.

Co-defendant, Michael Packer previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to more than four years in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $35,100.17.              

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron praised the USPIS for their work in the investigation.  U.S. Attorney Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer L. Wine and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica C. Harvey, who prosecuted the case.

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Marcia Murphy
(410) 209-4885

Updated November 16, 2021

Financial Fraud