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Spanaway-based identity theft ring taken down with three arrests

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on April 24, 2013 at 10:13 am |
April 24, 2013 10:13 am

A large identity theft ring based in Spanaway was taken down this week, according to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office.

Two men, aged 32 and 26, and a woman, 32, were charged with multiple counts related to identity theft and unlawfully possessing firearms.

The trio pleaded not guilty Tuesday and were ordered jailed in lieu of $150,000 each.

The investigation started Sunday after the ring’s leader led deputies on a brief pursuit while riding a stolen motorcycle.

While in jail, deputies monitored the man’s telephone calls and heard him asking friends to sell stolen guns to bail him out and telling his girlfriend he had items worth “big money” in storage units.

The man is prohibited from possessing guns because he has 13 prior felony convictions, according to court records.

Deputies interviewed the man’s friends and searched the storage units and the home of the man asked to sell the stolen guns.

They found notebooks with identity theft profiles for 63 people, including social security numbers, date of birth and financial data; 26 grams of methamphetamine, ammunition and at least five firearms.

Televisions, hotel room keys and designer purses were also found but deputies have not yet determined if they were stolen.

“It is evident from the property recovered in the storage units and the house that a large scale identity theft operation was being conducted, that the suspects were well

armed, and that they were obtaining controlled substances in some instances,” according to charging papers.

The 26-year-old man and his live-in girlfriend were arrested after deputies found some of the identity theft items and stolen property in their home.

Prosecutors said more charges will likely be filed against the three defendants.

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