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Press Release

New York Man Sentenced For Trafficking Unauthorized Access Devices

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

Acting United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a Bronx, New York, man convicted of Using or Trafficking in an Unauthorized Access Device and Aiding and Abetting was sentenced on June 2, 2015, by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange.

Francis Frias, age 21, was sentenced to serve 2 years in federal prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release, $10,040.92 in restitution, joint and several with his co-defendants, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

The conviction arose from activities that occurred between June 23, 2014, and July 5, 2014, when Frias and two co-defendants used “account takeovers” — which is where the defendants posed as established AT&T customers who wanted to upgrade by adding new lines or phones to their existing cell plans.  Frias and his co-defendants were provided confidential subscriber information while they were outside an AT&T store. Before Frias or one of his co-defendants went into an AT&T store, another person had already called into AT&T and added one of the three of them as an authorized user to the original AT&T customer’s account.  Once the cell phones were purchased, Frias mailed them to addresses provided by another individual.  Frias would be paid for each phone he purchased and shipped.

On July 5, 2014, a traffic stop was conducted on Interstate 90 in Jones County.  The three individuals in the vehicle, including Frias, were from New York.  The vehicle was a rental and was due back in Colorado on June 24, 2014.  A probable cause search was conducted and a white plastic bag with 14 brand new, in-the-box Apple 5S iPhones were found in the trunk, along with receipts from an AT&T Store in Pierre, South Dakota.  The names on the receipts did not match any of the three individuals in the vehicle.

This case was investigated by the Office of Attorney General, Division of Criminal Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Secret Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Miller prosecuted the case.

Frias was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated June 22, 2015