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Press Release

Two Columbia Area Residents Arraigned for Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

Contact Person: John Potterfield (803) 929-3000

Columbia, South Carolina---- John Wayne Martin, III, age 49, of Lexington, South Carolina; and Brodie Kale Sexton, age 37, of Columbia, South Carolina were both arraigned on a 4-count indictment in reference to a mail theft and forgery ring operating in the Midlands of South Carolina from July 2014 through November 2014. They were charged in an indictment with two other individuals; Sandra Kay Cheeks, age 47, of Lexington, South Carolina; and Brandy Michelle Mitchell, age 35, of Lexington, South Carolina; on these charges. The indictment alleges the individuals would illegally remove checks from mail boxes and other mail receptacles.  The defendants would change the amount and the name of the payee on the check to one of the defendants or the name of an innocent victim whose identification had been illegally obtained by the defendants.

Martin and Sexton are charged with Criminal Conspiracy, a violation of 18 U. S. C. §1349;  and Aggravated Identity Theft, a violation of 18 U. S. C. §1028A. The maximum sentence each could receive under 18 USC, Section 1349 is a fine of $1,000,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than 30 years.  The defendants face a mandatory sentence of 2 years if convicted under 18 USC, Section 1028A.

The investigation, led by the US Postal Inspection Service Columbia, SC field office, was conducted with the cooperation of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, along with private industry security personnel.  These agencies and groups make up the Midlands Economic Crime Group, or MECG, a working group led by the US Postal Inspection Service and the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office that meets once a month to discuss ongoing criminal incidents involving forgery, theft, fraud, identity theft, and other similar white collar crimes in the Midlands of South Carolina. The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney John Potterfield of the Columbia office for prosecution.

The United States Attorney further stated that all charges in the Indictment are merely accusations and that all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.


Updated May 19, 2015