A man caught riding a “hot” motorcycle has led to the downfall of three people who may have run an identity-theft operation in Spanaway.
Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist last charged Zachary Tweedell, 32, Alex William Howe, 26, and Danielle Marie White, 32, with multiple counts for their alleged role in what authorities say was a large-scale crime ring involving stolen mail, forged prescriptions and phony ID. Their bail was set at $150,000 after they were arraigned April 23 and pleaded not guilty.
Almost exactly one year earlier, on April 21, 2013, Tweedell was arrested for eluding Pierce County Sheriff Department deputies in a stolen motorcycle. After Tweedell was booked into the county jail, a corrections officer monitored his phone calls, which authorities said included multiple calls giving instructions to people to move and sell items that were stored in a vehicle and storage units. That put deputies on the trail of storage units and suspects named by Tweedell.
On April 22, 2013, deputies stopped a vehicle described by Tweedell. The driver told deputies that certain items had been taken to defendant Howe’s home and two storage units. At Howe’s residence, deputies found notebooks with identity-theft profiles, stolen mail, materials to make fake checks and ID, and personal information that was used to forge prescription drugs, prosecutors said. The officers also found guns, ammunition and 26 grams of methamphetamine.
A search of the two storage units turned up material for an identity theft operation, authorities reported. White and Howe were arrested and jailed.
The investigation is continuing and more charges may be coming, Lindquist said, but for now, the defendants are facing multiple counts of unlawful possession of firearms, fictitious identification, payment instruments, a personal ID device, financial fraud and a controlled substance with intent to deliver.
Lindquist said his office “vigorously prosecutes identity thieves. These crimes are a huge burden on the victims and our community.”