Crime

Man fined $1K for not reporting mail, ID thefts

Joe Gonzales Jr.
Joe Gonzales Jr.

GULFPORT -- Joe Gonzales Jr., 36, of Fort Worth, Texas, has been fined $1,000 for failing to report mail thefts in Harrison County, allowing others to make bogus checks and spend them at Walmart stores.

Gonzales also has been ordered to help Megan Murley, of Marlin, Texas, repay $358.02 for purchases at a Walmart in Crowley, Texas. He accompanied her to that store on Jan. 24, 2014. Murley and others owe $10,513.50 in restitution, court records show.

U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden sentenced Gonzales on Monday for misprision of felony -- knowing a crime was committed and failing to report it.

Ozerden gave him credit for time served. Gonzales had been in custody since Jan. 5, when he pleaded guilty.

Counterfeit checks also spent at Walmarts in Biloxi and Pass Christian used the identities and bank routing numbers of Harrison County residents whose information was stolen from checks they had placed in their roadside mail boxes.

The fake checks were used to buy items including gift cards, prepaid credit cards, electronics, food and clothing.

All but one of five people indicted in November 2014 have been sentenced.

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