Mail theft is a serious felony charge that carries life-altering penalties for those that are convicted of it. As a federal offense, defendants are up against federal prosecutors and greatly need the assistance of the most experienced, qualified defense team possible. Nine South Florida suspects were recently taken into custody in West Miami in mid January by law enforcement for mail fraud. A multi-agency operation dubbed “Hook, Line and Sinker” had been in action for one year before finally making the arrests, according to 7News Miami. The suspects in question are up against multiple felony charges for their alleged federal violations.
Gorilla Tape Used in U.S. Post Boxes to Pull Up Mail
A U.S. Postal Inspections official demonstrated a technique allegedly used by the defendants in a recent press conference. The official employed a weighted object covered in Gorilla tape as part of the visual. The suspects would allegedly drop such a weight, tied to a line, into a U.S. Postal box and pull up whatever it stuck to. The nine suspects are being charged with racketeering, identity theft, and grand theft. In addition, another suspect, who had surrendered and been in contact with the police, was also arrested.
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) was created to tackle organized crime, and carries particularly harsh sentencing and fines for those convicted of it. There are 35 crimes that fall under the RICO Act, and to be charged with racketeering, the defendant must have violated at least two of them. The penalties for racketeering include up to 20 years in prison for each violation and a fine of $250,000, as per 18 U.S. Code § 1963.
Identity theft is a growing concern across Florida and the U.S. It is charged as a felony ranging in degree from a third degree felony all the way to a first degree. If the identification used to obtain property was under $5,000, the defendant faces a third degree felony with a maximum fine of $5,000 and a prison sentence of five years. If the value of property taken with stolen identification was over $5,000, or the identification of 10 to 19 individuals was stolen, the felony is of the second degree and carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $10,000. And, if 20 or more individual’s information was stolen and/or the value of property taken was $50,000 or more, it is classified as a first degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $10,000. If the pecuniary benefit was greater than $100,000 and/or the identity of 30 or more individuals was stolen, there will be a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, according to Florida statute 817.568.
Call an West Palm Beach Racketeering Defense Attorney Today
Whether you are facing racketeering charges, identity theft charges, or mail fraud, contact the West Palm Beach Attorneys of Skier Law Firm today at (561) 220-3355. We are eager to help you today.