A resident of Rough and Ready has been found guilty of a 2011 crime spree in Nevada County that involved mail and identity theft.
A federal jury in Sacramento on Tuesday convicted Jasen Lynn Dushane, 38, of one count of possession of stolen United States mail, one count of possession of unauthorized access devices with intent to defraud, and aggravated identity theft, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. The guilty verdicts were returned after a five-day trial before U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley.
According to information presented at trial, about 2:25 a.m. June 5, 2011, a Nevada County sheriff's deputy observed a silver Lexus sedan southwest of Nevada City. He checked the license plate number of the vehicle and confirmed that it had been reported stolen.
The deputy conducted a vehicle stop and directed the driver to turn off the engine. The driver initially complied, but then restarted the engine and drove off.
The deputy pursued the Lexus for nearly 1.5 miles on dark and muddy Black Forest Road, authorities said. The two occupants then got out of the vehicle and fled, but the driver first threw the vehicle into reverse, sending it backward toward the deputy and down an embankment.
Law enforcement officers were unable to locate the driver, but they found the passenger, Manda Lynn Wentzloff, hiding in nearby brush. Wentzloff identified the driver as Dushane. Dushane was arrested later that day in Grass Valley while attempting to pick up a police scanner that he had ordered using a stolen credit card, authorities said.
According to court documents, Wentzloff told officers that she and Dushane had been stealing mail and other items from mailboxes and a residence in and around Nevada County. She said the two had also stolen a BMW and that it was parked outside a motel room she and Dushane occupied in Reno.
In a search of the motel room, the Lexus, and the BMW, officers found bags, folders and other containers full of opened and unopened U.S. mail with recipient addresses in Nevada County and Las Vegas, authorities said.
Officers also found copies of credit cards and various official identification documents, credit cards, opened bank and credit card statements, and personal checks. In all, more than a thousand pieces of stolen mail were recovered.
Dushane is to be sentenced Nov. 21 by Judge Nunley.
Wentzloff pleaded guilty May 2, 2012 to one count of possession of stolen mail. She is to be sentenced Sept. 12.