Two men arrested in connection with stolen identities in Love County could soon face federal charges, according to Love County Sheriff Marty Grisham.
“We have talked to the Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Service and I think the federal government is thinking about taking this over,” Grisham said. “Yesterday (Monday) Secret Service agents were here looking around and they seemed interested in taking this case to the federal prosecutor.”
Lane Edward Miller and Robert Ashley Bond, both of Thackerville, are facing several felony charges after being arrested for stealing medical records from Mercy Health Clinic and Hospital in Love County, and stealing mail in order to open fraudulent credit card accounts in the names of at least 10 victims.
Mercy Health in Love County could not be reached for comment before this story went to press.
Lane Miller previously worked as a licensed practical nurse for Mercy in Love County. After his employment ended, deputies allege that Miller stole paper medical records out of the hospital’s storage facility. Miller and Bond then used the records to target victims in Love County. Sheriff’s officials said the duo stole credit card applications out of mail boxes belonging to the victims of the medical records thefts and used the information to open fraudulent accounts.
Grisham says the exact amount of money the two spent in other people’s names is unknown, but their purchases crossed state lines into Texas. If federal authorities decline to take the case the duo could face additional felony charges in Texas.
Both men stand accused of opening credit lines worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in their victims’ names.
Grisham said the pair face around 13 felony charges each, but if the federal government takes the case, the charges in each respective county and state will be dropped and replaced with federal charges.
The federal government’s interest in the case stems from the stolen mail, and accusations of identity theft. Under federal statutes, mail tampering carries up to a five year sentence per incident.
Currently, Miller is in Love County jail on a $250,000 bond. Bond is also in Love County jail, but his bond has been set at $500,000.
Grisham said it’s important to keep information safe and under lock and key whenever possible.
“People should keep a close watch of their credit and bank accounts and check the mail daily, that way nothing is left overnight,” Grisham said. “Organizations that have sensitive info need to keep it under lock and key and in a secure room. They should also be sure to change combo locks regularly, that way people can’t get to those documents.”