Averi Jordan, Alan Mill, Andrea Bentley, Danielle Bentley, Shawn Rowland, Pamela Fairchild, Jackie Carr, Kathleen Cook, Mark Lamere, Sean Jones. (Not pictured: Latosca Hults)
A Denver grand jury has indicted 11 people, accusing them of stealing more than $100,000 while committing identity theft, forgery, and utilizing stolen personal and financial information of more than 400 people and businesses.
Members of the group stole mail containing identification information, personal and business checks, then used the victims’ identities and altered, made and distributed stolen and/or counterfeit checks, according to a news release issued Wednesday. They cashed, or attempted to cash, the checks at banks and credit unions throughout Denver.
The group raided mail boxes throughout the metro area, said Ken Lane, spokesman for the Denver District Attorney’s Office. “They would just open it up. People were either sending mail out, as you do when you pay bills, put the red flag up, and that cued them that something was in there.”
They bought, sold and traded the information and checks with each other, exchanging it for drugs, mostly methamphetamine and heroin, according to the 186-count indictment.
Named in the indictment, handed down on May 17, are alleged ringleaders Sean Jones, 36, and Kathleen Cooke, 48, as well as Andrea Bentley, 26, Danielle Bentley, 26, Jackie Carr, 59, Pamela Fairchild, 56, Latosca Hults, 34, Averi Jordan, 20, Mark Lamere, 32, Alan Mill, 33, and Shawn Rowland, 47.
Jones and Cooke are each charged with one count of violation of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, and along with the others are variously charged with counts including conspiracy to commit identity theft, forgery, criminal possession of a financial device and criminal impersonation.
Jones and Cooke, the Bentley sisters, Jordan, Mill and Rowland are in custody. Arrest warrants have been issued for the remaining four, but they have so far not been arrested.
Cooke was working with new accomplices at the time of her arrest on Monday and was allegedly about to cash more counterfeit checks.
The indictment is the result of a months-long investigation and collaboration by the Denver District Attorney’s Economic Crime Unit, Denver Police Department, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Black Hawk Police Department, FBI Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force, Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.