Texas Man Sentenced to More Than Five Years in Prison for Fraud and Identity Theft Involving Stolen U.S. Mail

MOBILE, AL – A Fort Worth, Texas man was sentenced to 68 months in prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to court documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, Sanwon Demetrius Baldwin, 41, conspired with his co-defendant, Brittany Jannice Chapman, 27, to commit bank fraud and identity theft. The defendants carried out their fraudulent scheme by stealing mail from U.S. Postal Service collection boxes, altering stolen checks and money orders without authorization from their lawful owners, and making unlawful bank deposits and cash withdrawals.

In June 2017, police in Bedford, Texas arrested the defendants in possession of more than 100 stolen checks and money orders, a .45-caliber pistol, and marijuana. Police searched the trunk of Baldwin’s rental car and found a venetian blind blade covered in rat trap glue, which criminals commonly use to “fish” mail out of postal collection boxes. Police also found chemicals typically used to alter information on checks, money orders, and other stolen mail. Agents later searched Baldwin’s house in Mobile, Alabama and recovered more than 600 additional checks and money orders that the defendants had stolen from the mail. Forensic analysis revealed the defendants’ fingerprints on several stolen checks and money orders. The total amount of the stolen financial instruments was more than $278,000.

Senior United States District Judge Callie V.S. Granade ordered Baldwin to serve a five-year term of supervised release upon his release from prison, during which time he will undergo drug testing and treatment and will be subject to credit restrictions. The court did not impose a fine, but Judge Granade ordered Baldwin to pay $9,209.10 in victim restitution and $200 in special assessments.

The court sentenced Chapman to five years’ probation in December 2021, ordering that Chapman serve the first 12 months on home confinement. Chapman is also responsible for victim restitution.

U.S. Attorney Sean P. Costello of the Southern District of Alabama made the announcement.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Mobile Police Department, and the Bedford, Texas Police Department investigated the case.