Four people have been charged in connection with a series of crimes, including several dodge and jeep theft in and around Ohio and Michigan.
FBI agents arrested Devin Rice, Judge Benjamin and Lavel Jones last week, all of whom live in the Cleveland area. A fourth suspect, Jillian Harris, has been charged in the same case but has not been arrested, Cleveland.com reports.
The group faces federal charges, including robbery, postal theft, transportation of vehicles across state lines and gun possession. The suspects will be tried for the crime, which investigators allege involved several sophisticated schemes.
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The FBI claims that the suspects received a number of public keys designed to open all blue mailboxes in a given, geographic area. The suspects snatched the postal worker at gunpoint to steal the key, and one of the suspects told investigators he paid a postal service employee $ 1,000 for a key. In addition, investigators say the men were able to use it to steal mail from mailboxes and to commit fraud. Several bank accounts were withdrawn and checks were forged to cash in the bank.
According to an affidavit, the investigation came to a halt when police spotted a car that was involved in an armed robbery of a mail carrier. They found a collection of mail keys and a warrant to search the car where they discovered several bank deposit slips and checks. According to News5 Cleveland, they later received a warrant for a search of a home where some men lived and found more stolen mail and paper used to print checks.
They mostly steal dodges and jeeps
While there, investigators claim they also found stolen vehicles, which they linked to the mail crime with a separate series of thefts involving high-quality vehicles, mostly dodges and jeeps. The thefts occurred in both Ohio and Michigan, and police say the thieves used a “pro pad”, which allows them to effectively copy the original fob information in order to unlock and launch vehicles.
The cars were mainly high-powered models such as the Dodge Challenger and Charger Scat Pax and Helcats, as well as the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawks. According to the FBI, the vehicles (some of which could sell for about $ 90,000) were sold for $ 3,500, $ 8,000 and $ 15,000, respectively.
The stolen vehicles were then allegedly involved in high-speed chases, car accidents and traffic jams. Others, meanwhile, were simply hiding around the Cleveland area.
Taken together, car and postal theft amounts to about $ 2.7 million. Judge Benjamin’s lawyer, however, said his client was waiting for his day in court.