[UPDATE] Lowndes County, Georgia- July 24, 2012
Around 6:30 Monday morning, the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office raided two homes, one of which was on Lausanne Drive. About 15 hundred identities were recovered, according to the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office. Drugs, money and cars were also seized.
There they found Belinda Harris and Aaron Casey. They also found 35 grams of marijuana, and roughly 15 hundred stolen identities. Casey was charged with the marijuana.
Harris was charged with three counts of felony financial identity fraud.
Says Mary Berrien: "That was my son-in-law's niece. And I didn't think she'd be doing nothing like this."
Says Willie Martin: "It was a surprise. I didn't think that was going on. You know she was a pretty nice girl. It kind of shocked me, I think it was a shock to the whole neighborhood."
Harris allegedly pocketed between $7 hundred and $9 thousand dollars from each identity. A scam that had been going on for about 2 years, according to the sheriff's Office.
Says the Lowndes County Sheriff: "The person that is committing the crime doesn't look at it as a direct victim impact like you would an armed robbery or aggravated assault. Because they're never going to see their victim. They may not know who they are, but the person that is the victim, it's devastating to them"
This was a joint investigation between the FBI, the Secret Service and the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office.
Both Casey and Harris are still being held at the Lowndes County Jail.
In the meantime, four cars and various electronic devices that were confiscated will be auctioned off and used to compensate the victims.
July 23, 2012
Sheriff Chris Prine stated that this morning at around 6:30 AM investigators with the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation South West Georgia Gang Task Force and the United States Secret Service simultaneously executed search warrants at 917 Lausanne Drive and 809 Woodlawn Drive, both in Valdosta. The investigators have been recently working on a large number of identity theft cases all associated with fraudulent income tax filings. During the execution of these warrants, investigators recovered several vehicles, items of property, approximately thirty-five grams of marijuana and a sum of currency.
Arrested during the operation was Belinda “Turbo” Harris who has been charged with multiple counts of Identity theft, a felony and Aaron Lamar Casey who has been charged with Possession of marijuana, with the intent to distribute, also a felony.
According to Sheriff Prine, this investigation is on-going and additional charges will be made as the investigation progresses and offenses are identified. Persons with information are urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (229) 671-2950.
Data: Harris, Belinda Renee
719 Lausanne Street – Valdosta
27 years old
Casey, Aaron Lamar
917 Lausanne Street – Valdosta
20 years old
Both of these persons remain in the Lowndes County Jail and will appear before a Magistrate Judge for an arraignment hearing tomorrow.