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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