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Four indicted on federal charges in mail theft ring

Published: May. 20, 2015 at 1:07 PM EDT|Updated: May. 30, 2015 at 1:07 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Four people from the Midlands have been indicted on federal charges for their alleged involvement in a mail theft and forgery ring.

After an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, 49-year-old Johnnie Wayne Martin III of Lexington, 47-year-old Sandra Kay Cheeks of Lexington, 37-year-old Brodie Kale Sexton of Columbia and 35-year-old Brandy Michelle Mitchell of Lexington were charged.

Postal inspectors say they were part of a ring of mail thieves who stole outgoing mail and personal checks from residential mailboxes in the Midlands area, forged checks, and used stolen IDs to cash the checks at area banks.

They were indicted on charges of criminal conspiracy, bank fraud and identity theft. Additional charges could be filed as the investigation continues.

About 40 people had their mail stolen.

Postal inspectors tell WIS a story reported in October 2014 was related to the case.

Investigators say Martin, Cheeks, Sexton and Mitchell stole mail placed in residential mailboxes in the morning before mail carriers picked up and delivered items. If mail contained a personal check, investigators say they would wash it to erase written ink and forge a new amount paid to someone in the name of a stolen ID, which was then cashed.

Mobile users, click here to see a slideshow of the mug shots.

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