They allegedly exchanged text messages about using the postal keys, some of which Guardado prosecutors said he claimed to have made, to go out on "missions," during which they stole the mail in bulk. The group allegedly took personal identifying information, such as names, addresses, telephone numbers and dates of birth, from the stolen mail and other sources. They used the information to create counterfeit California state driver's licenses in the victims' names but with the defendants' photographs on the licenses, according to federal prosecutors.
The defendants allegedly used the counterfeit licenses to activate and use stolen or fraudulent credit cards. They negotiated checks and used other stolen or fraudulently obtained access devices to obtain money and services of value such as hotel rooms and cash advances at a casino.
Overton is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail theft and to commit fraud in connection with identification documents; one count of fraud in connection with identification documents and possession of five or more of the documents and two counts of possession of stolen mail. Each count is punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
She also faces one count of possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices (punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines; and two counts of aggravated identity theft (each count punishable with a maximum of two years in connection to any other sentence and a $250,000 fine).
The other defendants are also charged as follows: one count of conspiracy to commit mail theft and to commit fraud in connection with identification documents (Guardado, Dagio, Clapp and Perez); one count of fraud in connection with identification documents and possession of five or more of the documents (Guardado); one count of fraudulent document-making implements (Guardado); one count of fraud in connection with identification documents — trafficking (Guardado); one count of possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices (Guardado); one count of fraudulent use of unauthorized access devices (Dagio); one count of unlawful possession of postal keys and locks (Guardado); one count of mail theft (Guardado and Valencia-Arias); one count of possession of stolen mail (Guardado and Dagio) and one count of aggravated identity theft (Guardado and Dagio).
The charges of fraudulent document-making implements and fraud in connection with identification documents (trafficking) each carry maximum sentences of 15 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. Fraudulent use of unauthorized access devices and unlawful possession of postal keys and locks each carry a maximum 10-year sentence and $250,000 fine. Mail theft and possession of stolen mail are punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and up to $250,000 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The defendants are in either federal or state custody except for Perez, who remains at large. Guardado and Clapp made their initial federal court appearances on Wednesday morning before the U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler. Guardado was ordered detained pending a further hearing related to bail on Dec. 14. Clapp was released on a $25,000 bond. Valencia-Arias was scheduled to make his initial appearance on Dec. 10. The remaining defendants are scheduled to appear in federal court on Jan. 12 for a status hearing.
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