News & Resources

Drug warrant leads to ID theft convictions

Jan 24, 2012 Karen Umpierre

An identity theft ring in Apopka, Florida, was shut down this week after police acted on a warrant for a drug bust, WFTV-TV reports. According to the Orlando Sentinel, police entered the home of Renald Wilder and Holly Eckert under suspicions that they were running a marijuana and crack cocaine operation. What they found inside, in addition to the drugs, was a copious amount of identity theft paraphernalia. Specifically, at least 1,000 stolen Florida driver's licenses, 1,000 stolen credit cards, an eight-inch stack of gift cards, 200 pairs of high-end shoes still in boxes and six laptops were seized from the house. The defendants allegedly used the computers to complete transactions using fraudulent identity verification. Apopka police chief Robert Manley wasn't surprised to find the additional items. "This is definitely a hub for (identity theft) in Central Florida," he told the news source. ID theft is quickly becoming the preferred choice for criminals. It poses a less threatening risk than bank robbery or drug dealing, and, according to police chief Jim Madden, routinely nets about $250,000.