Five former mail carriers with the United States Postal Service were among 11 people indicted Thursday on charges that they stole credit cards from the mail.
The conspiracy went on for 18 months, and involved the mail carriers stealing credit cards and other financial instruments from the mail in order to sell them for cash or other items, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Illinois said.
Two of the defendants even obtained people’s social security numbers and dates of birth, allowing them to activate the stolen credit cards and use them at stores including Best Buy, Fry’s Electronics, Walmart and Meijer, prosecutors said.
Three Chicago women — Rebecca Okunoren, 28, Monique Love, 29, and Dominique Sykes, 28 — are among the former mail carriers who were charged with conspiring to steal mail and committing unauthorized access device fraud, prosecutors said. The other two mail carriers charged are 32-year-old Jessica Jefferson, of Broadview, and 34-year-old Myiesha Weaver, of College Park, Georgia.
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Six more Chicago area residents were also charged with the conspiracy to steal mail. They are:
- Davey Hines, 28;
- Billye Harris, 26;
- Terrance Scales, 29;
- Stephon Johnson, 33;
- Loreal Ross, 31; and
- Brittnay Shepard, 28.
Hines, Harris, Johnson and Ross were also charged with unauthorized access device fraud and aggravated identity theft, prosecutors said.
“These arrests represent our commitment to work with our law enforcement partners to maintain the integrity and trust in the U.S. mail,” said Andre Martin, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Great Lakes Area Field Office of the U.S. Postal Service. “The majority of postal employees are hard-working public servants dedicated to moving mail to its proper destination.”
Several of the defendants were arrested Thursday and have already begun to appear in court, prosecutors said.
The federal investigation, called Operation Cash on Delivery, already resulted in charges against five other people, including four former USPS employees, last summer.