KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Two women from Vonore have pleaded guilty to mail and identity theft charges after they allegedly stole mail from a number of Tellico Village residents.
Sarah Jane Duncan, 38, and Amber Dawn Thomas, 33, were both indicted by a federal grand jury in March. Duncan pleaded guilty on Dec. 2 while Thomas pleaded guilty on Dec. 5.
A plea agreement shows a resident called the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office in December 2013 to report finding a grocery bag containing mail that belonged to multiple residents of Tellico Village.
The same day, deputies received a report of a small car stopping at all the mailboxes in the Tanasi Lagoon area of Tellico Village. Officers saw the car later in the day and watched the driver take something from a mailbox.
Officers stopped the vehicle. Thomas was driving and Duncan was in the passenger seat.
After obtaining a search warrant, officers found and recovered stolen mail inside the vehicle. The report says Both women admitted to stealing mail, as well as placing some of it in a grocery bag and throwing it away.
Cash was found in a medical boot worn by Thomas, which she said she had obtained from the stolen mail. Checks were also found in Thomas’ purse and hidden in the police cruiser used to taken Duncan and her to jail.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 1, 2015. Each suspect faces a sentence of up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.