Zachary Patrick Arrested – This week, a U.S. District Court sentenced an Oblong man and a Robinson woman to jail after they pleaded guilty to breaking into cars, stealing checks and identification, and using identity theft to steal thousands of dollars from banks. Both Briana Blair, 31, and Zachary Patrick, 31, entered guilty pleas to one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of conspiracy to commit financial institution fraud. Blair was given a 25-month sentence with an additional three-year period of supervised release, while Patrick was given a 60-month term with an additional five years of probation.
Springfield Field Office
“Committing identity theft threatens the financial security of victims,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe. “This couple disregarded the lives they were hurting, and I commend our law enforcement partners and investigators for bringing justice to the affected families.” According to Springfield Field Office Acting Special Agent in Charge Shannon Fontenot, “FBI Springfield extends our appreciation to the Oblong Police Department and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office for their excellent work which laid the foundation for significant charges in this case.”
These penalties offer some justice to the victims whose lives were upended by thieves who took their personal information and utilized it for their own advantage without thinking about the consequences of their actions. In accordance with court records, the couple frequently broke into vehicles to steal checks and personal information from a multiple of victims. The two then traveled around eastern Illinois and western Indiana using the victims’ information to make and deposit phony checks, forge signatures, and withdraw thousands of dollars. Additionally, they opened a bank account using the stolen data from one victim.
Law enforcement officers
While breaking into a car, the two were caught in Brazil, Indiana, at a motel parking lot. The pair initially gave law enforcement two stolen identities while identifying themselves, but they later revealed their real identities. Several stolen IDs, credit cards, and documents containing financial information from victims were found by law enforcement officers. The sentence judge emphasized the seriousness of identity theft as well as the terrible effects and long-term effects on victims. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office and the Oblong Police Department provided assistance to the FBI-Springfield, which conducted the investigation. Peter Reed, an assistant US attorney, handled the prosecution.
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