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OROVILLE, Calif. - The Butte County Sheriff's Office arrested six people connected to an identity theft crime ring with over 50 victims.
The arrests are the culmination of an investigation that began in November. On Nov. 13, detectives from the Felony Investigations Unit, the Butte Interagency Narcotics Task Force, and Designated Area Deputies served a search warrant at a home on Grover Lane in Oroville.
During the service of the search warrant, detectives located numerous evidence items to include the following items: heroin, meth, marijuana, forged checks, forged bank statements, personal identifying information belonging to about 50 victims, and computers that were being used to forge checks and financial documents, deputies said.
A follow-up investigation determined 34-year-olds Rodney Mills of Chico, was stealing large quantities of mail from the Chico area, deputies said. After stealing the mail, Mills was distributing the personal identifying information of mail theft victims to other individuals involved in identity theft crimes.
With the assistance of the Chico Police, Mills was located and placed under arrest on Nov. 13, deputies said. When Mills was arrested, detectives said they located keys capable of unlocking community mailboxes on Mills’ person.
On Nov. 14, detectives said they conducted a probation search of a motel room in Chico that was associated to Mills.
During the search, detectives located several evidence items such as, heroin, ammunition, and stolen U.S. Postal mailbox locks. U.S.
Postal law enforcement was contacted and they are currently assisting in this investigation, according to deputies.
The following individuals have been arrested:
- Rodney Mills of Chico, 34, arrested for possession of ammunition by a prohibited person, conspiracy, and possession of burglary tools.
- Andrew Roberts of Oroville, 33, arrested for felony identity theft, felony forgery, and possession of narcotics paraphernalia.
- Claire Davis of Oroville, 34, arrested for possession of marijuana for sale, possession of narcotics paraphernalia, and a misdemeanor arrest warrant.
- Shelby Thomas of Oroville, 27, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance.
- Jamin Baxmeyer of Chico, 28, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance.
- Laura Barkowski of Oroville, 29, was arrested for a misdemeanor arrest warrant.
The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information about this investigation to contact Detective Will Brewton or Detective Vaj Thao at 530-538-7671.
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