Feds take on identity theft ring

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

SHERMAN, Tex.--A group of people arrested for stealing hundreds of identities in Grayson County now face charges on the federal level. Authorities say the crime ring spanned from Ardmore to Forth Worth, including Grayson County.

Because there were so many victims involved, officials wanted the suspects to face harsher penalties if convicted. We first told you about this story back in April, when sheriff's deputies pulled over a car in Denison.

They found blank checks, credit card receipts, and other tools often used to steal identities in the car. One receipt detailed Sheriff Keith Gary’s personal information.

An investigation revealed the suspects broke into storage units a restaurant used to keep credit card records and stole those records.

A federal grand jury returned indictments on Ashley Michelle Pyle of Denison, Kendra Katherine Jurrens of Pottsboro, Sharon Denise Smith of Denison, and Richard Leon Howell of Denison.
The charges are for conspiracy to possess stolen mail or receipts and conspiracy to possess authorized access devices to defraud.

"So many people's identities were in their possession we decided it was time to send a message and the federal system will probably sentence them to longer sentences if they're convicted," Sheriff Gary said.

The postal service is investigating the case. If convicted, each suspect could face up to five years in prison and fines of up to 250-thousand dollars.


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  • by emily Location: denison on Oct 16, 2007 at 07:41 PM
    first of all, one of them was not arrested for it and had nothing to do with it. so you tell me how are justice system is right at all.
  • by That Girl Location: Bryan County on Oct 12, 2007 at 12:25 PM
    I don't care who prosecutes them, I just would like to see them go to prison. Stealing is just so wrong and to steal a person whole life is even much worse. I hope they rot in jail.
  • by J.D. Location: Sherman on Oct 12, 2007 at 12:16 PM
    To S.S.: I have no doubt a conviction will happen.And it's PAROLE,..not probation,& PAROLE does happen in the Federal prison system. As far as the fine,Garnishment,yeah, no mystery there.I'm sure each one of those theives will get a job that is "above" board" & on the "radar". I've seen more than 2 dozen Fed prisons thruout my life (outside looking in),nice accomodations,(3 star),whereas the state..not so "nice" So sure,Put'em in an enviroment where they will be surrounded by crooks of the same "caliber"..& learn on how not to get caught next time.
  • by S.S. Location: Durant on Oct 12, 2007 at 07:19 AM
    To J.D.: Obviously you do not know very much about federal law. First, the defendants are sentenced by federal guidelines. The FEDS have a 95% conviction rate. THEY DO NOT GET PROBATION AND MUST SERVE DAY FOR DAY. They do not get early release for good behavior. And about the fine, the gov't will garnish everything until it is paid and they are required to pay a percentage of every dollar they get. Also, they are not allowed to receive most federal benefits. So by being prosecuted by the Feds is much worse than by the state.
  • by J.D. Location: Sherman on Oct 11, 2007 at 11:23 PM
    So...Let me get this straight.. It's going to Federal Court because the feds will give a "harsher" sentence of 5 years & 250,000 fine?? Yeah ,right In for 5,out in 2 And the fine? I'm sure those "sophisticates" will be good for every penny.
    • reply
      by Sammy on Dec 29, 2011 at 03:56 PM in reply to J.D.
      I know for a fact that one of these people is free and out breaking the law. She is consorting with other convicted felons and in my opinion didn't learn anything.
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