DENVER - One ringleader of a stolen mail, counterfeit checks, and drug ring was sentenced to 14 years in prison on Tuesday.
Sean Jones was indicted last year by a Denver Grand Jury.
According to a press release from the Denver District Attorney's office, Jones pleaded guilty to the main count of violation of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act-COCCA on January 19.
The 14-year prison sentence will run consecutively to other cases and is followed by five years mandatory parole. Prior to sentencing, the defendant was serving 10 years in prison for similar charges in Arapahoe County.
Jones is ordered to pay $78,792 in restitution.
In May 2017, Jones and 10 others were charged in a 186-count indictment that stemmed from a months-long investigation. Several law enforcement organizations assisted in the investigation.
According to the indictment, beginning April 2016 Jones and alleged co-ringleader Kathleen Cooke led a criminal racketeering enterprise to steal mail containing identifying information, personal checks, business checks and victims’ identities. Distributing stolen and counterfeit checks were also listed as crimes.
The racketeering enterprise used computers, computer programs, forgery devices, and other tools to generate counterfeit and altered checks.
The defendants cashed and made attempts to cash phony checks at financial institutions across the Denver area.
The defendants bought, sold, traded and bartered among each other the stolen information in exchange for drugs – mostly methamphetamine and heroin.
Jones, Cooke, and the eight other co-defendants collectively stole more than $100,000 through ID theft, forgery, and theft at financial institutions.
They used the stolen personal information and financial devices of more than 400 people and business entities.
Like Jones, Cooke is charged with one count of violation of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act-COCCA. She will be arraigned on March 23.
Co-defendant Alan Mill pleaded guilty to identity theft in November. He was sentenced February 22 to 10 years in prison.
The remaining co-defendants have variously pleaded guilty to felony and misdemeanor charges. They have various sentences and are ordered to pay varying amounts of restitution.