A federal grand jury has charged 13 people with bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud stemming from a rash of mail thefts throughout central Ohio, but the indictments have not stopped the incidents, according to one local police force.
Sgt. James Moran of the Worthington Division of Police said he could not reveal any information because the investigation is far from complete.
“There’s still mail being stolen,” he said.
Moran said he thinks the case could continue to change, including the possibility of more charges.
Moran and Worthington police handed the case to the U.S. Postal Service for investigation earlier this year. Kathy Woliung, an inspector and spokeswoman for the local U.S. Postal Inspection Service, said the department does not comment on its investigations or the process.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced the 18-count indictment in a release Oct. 11. The charges come from a collaboration among Benjamin C. Glassman, a U.S. attorney for the United States District Court of Southern District of Ohio; Christopher White, assistant inspector in charge for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Monica S. Weyler, special agent in charge for the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.
The indictment alleges that the defendants “used Postal Service property to illegally access blue collection boxes in the greater metropolitan Columbus area” and that they “conspired to unlawfully negotiate checks and money orders stolen from the United States mail” from September 2016 to August 2017.
During that time, police in municipalities across central Ohio, including Bexley, Hilliard, Grandview Heights, Westerville and Worthington, received reports of thefts from mailboxes that resulted in stolen and forged checks.
Those charged include:
• Justin L. Brooks, 25, Columbus
• Zadarrick J. Brooks, 24, Columbus
• Courtney N. Bruce, 23, Columbus
• Jamicia R. Gordon, 22, Columbus
• Jordan L. McCorvey, 24, Columbus
• Charlee D. Mitchell, 26, Dayton
• Terry T. Reynolds, 20, Columbus
• Donte L. Rippey-Young, 23, Gahanna
• Joshua O. Saunders, 24, Columbus
• Chevez M. Stanley, 26, Columbus
• Neshaun M. T. Walls, 22, Columbus
• Thomas P. Williams Jr., 23, Pickerington
• Milahn M. Wright, 23, Columbus
According to the indictment, at least four of the defendants – Bruce, Gordon, Rippey-Young and Williams – were at one time employed by the U.S. Postal Service.
In the indictment, Glassman said the defendants are responsible for the loss of at least $150,000 to U.S. financial institutions.
Conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud are each crimes punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.
They are classified in the U.S. Code as Class B felonies.