Pair sentenced in federal court for identity theft

Jun. 17, 2014 @ 06:31 PM

A 44-year-old habitual felon who faces drug trafficking charges in Vance County was sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison Wednesday for conspiring to commit offenses against the United States.

District Judge Louise Wood Flanagan in New Bern sentenced Mark A. Davis, of 744 Parham Road, to 33 months in prison and three years supervised probation.

His girlfriend and co-defendant, LaWanda Ragland, of 217 Sarah Lane, Henderson, was sentenced Wednesday to 27 months and three years supervised probation for the same charges.

The couple was indicted by a federal grand jury with one count of conspiring to commit offenses against the United States, one count of access device fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and 11 counts of possessing stolen mail.

From around May 2008 to January 2012, Davis and Ragland would steal mail — which included credit cards, statements for credit card and bank accounts, driver’s licenses, tax information and correspondence — from residential mailboxes in order to obtain personal information, according to the federal grand jury indictment.

They then used this personal information to steal people’s identities.

On Aug. 30, 2013, Davis and Ragland each pleaded guilty before Magistrate Judge William A. Webb in U.S. District Court in Raleigh to one count of conspiring to commit offenses against the United States.

Davis and Ragland were arrested in April on charges of trafficking marijuana, possessing drug paraphernalia and maintaining a dwelling for keeping controlled substances.

The Henderson Police Department and Vance County Sheriff’s Office seized 52 pounds of marijuana, a marijuana grow operation, several firearms, money and drug-related paraphernalia during a search of the residence at 352 Wesley Drive, Henderson.

Ragland was released after posting $80,000 bond but did not appear at her scheduled court date on April 21.

A warrant for her arrest was issued on April 22, and she was arrested June 9.

She was jailed in Vance County on $150,000 bond. Her court date is scheduled for June 23.

Assistant District Attorney Allison Capps said the cases against Davis and Ragland are pending, and the state still intends to prosecute them.

 

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.