EVERETT — Room No. 13 yielded a trove of evidence.
Detectives from several agencies as well as an agent with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service had been following a circuitous paper trail linked to a 34-year-old Snohomish County man with a long history of deceit. It led them to the Smokey Point motel room in January.
Inside they found tools of the identity theft trade: computers, printers, phony IDs, stolen checks, checkbooks and passports. The suspect’s photo was on four fraudulent driver’s licences connected to real people. Inside a notebook were people’s email addresses and Social Security numbers.
Two weeks earlier, detectives obtained a court order to search one of the man’s cars. Inside the vehicle, they found firearm transaction records for two men as well as their Social Security numbers. There were stolen checks and mail as well as paperwork with personal information belonging to three women. Some of the checks were filed in an accordion folder.
One Bellevue-area man told a Marysville detective that the suspect had charged $12,561 to his accounts. That included the purchase of a 2019 Kawasaki motorcycle and $3,000 fraudulently charged on a recently opened Home Depot card.
The Marysville detective wrote in a probable cause statement: “Over the past year multiple cases have come up where vehicles have been fraudulently purchased and obtained in the same way this motorcycle was. The suspects in those cases are a group of ID thieves who have been doing this.”
A car dealer in Everett reported in early January that the suspect provided a phony check and fake ID to buy two used Ford Focuses. Only after he did some “digging around online” did he discover the suspect’s true identity, according to court records.
In all, the man was arrested for investigation of 23 crimes. He has 10 felony convictions, mostly for thefts and property crimes.
Detectives have asked a judge to set a high bail. He was released pending trial on at least three previous occasions since October, only to be arrested again for investigation of new crimes. He’s been in the Snohomish County Jail since mid-February.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; firstname.lastname@example.org.