Garrett Austin Malone, 31, of Lubbock admitted on Friday that he and others broke into three U.S. Postal Service blue boxes and about 50 residential or business mail boxes to steal mail.
“Malone stated that he would then sell the personal identifying information on the Dark Web or use it to fraudulently obtain credit cards, lines of credit or to cash forged … checks,” court records said.
Court records said in September 2017 Malone gave another man forged checks with instructions to go to First Bank and Trust at 3405 22nd Street. A bank employee was suspicious and called police. The man drove off after eight minutes but left behind a forged check and an identification card.
A few days later, Malone was mad and told the other guy to go back and get the ID card. He was then confronted by Lubbock Police. That led officers to Malone’s residence in the 2800 block of 35th Street where officers found a tote bag and “coach bag” filled with counterfeit checks, credit cards, ID cards, and stolen mail.
Police found three more bags in the attic with more stolen mail. Malone has been in the Lubbock County Detention Center since September 2017.
“In 2018, Malone began writing letters to federal law enforcement and the United States Attorney’s Office asking that he be prosecuted federally, and acknowledging his guilt in stealing United States mail,” court records said.
Under the terms of a plea deal, Malone will be sentenced at a later date and faces no more than five years in federal prison. The deal still requires approval of the court.