Russell County sheriff intercepts scheme to steal hard drives - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Russell County sheriff intercepts international scheme to defraud Office Depot, ASI

Posted: Updated:
  • NEWSMore>>

  • Operation D.R.I.V.E. on I-85 promotes safe driving habits

    Operation D.R.I.V.E. on I-85 promotes safe driving habits

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 1:33 AM EDT2014-09-17 05:33:00 GMT
    Operation D.R.I.V.E. is a multi-state patrol on Interstate 85 which keeps an eye on unsafe driving behaviors among commercial vehicle drivers like those texting, following too closely or driving fatigued.More >>
    Operation D.R.I.V.E. is a multi-state patrol on Interstate 85 which keeps an eye on unsafe driving behaviors among commercial vehicle drivers like those texting, following too closely or driving fatigued.More >>
  • Auburn University becomes Styrofoam free

    Auburn University becomes Styrofoam free

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 1:20 AM EDT2014-09-17 05:20:05 GMT
    Auburn students and faculty may have noticed something missing on campus this semester: Styrofoam cups. The Office of Sustainability and Tiger Dining have been working to make Auburn a Styrofoam-free campMore >>
    Auburn students and faculty may have noticed something missing on campus this semester: Styrofoam cups. The Office of Sustainability and Tiger Dining have been working to make Auburn a Styrofoam-free campus, and at the end of the summer, Styrofoam was eliminated from private vendors on campus.More >>
  • Redevelopment project in the works on "City Village"

    Redevelopment project in the works on "City Village"

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 1:15 AM EDT2014-09-17 05:15:08 GMT
    As thousands flock to Columbus for what USA Today calls one of the best man-made whitewater rafting courses in the world, city leaders want to make a great impression on tourists as they enter the city.More >>
    As thousands flock to Columbus for what USA Today calls one of the best man-made whitewater rafting courses in the world, city leaders want to make a great impression on tourists as they enter the city.More >>
FORT MITCHELL, AL (WTVM) -

Sheriff Heath Taylor and his investigators stood behind dozens of boxes of seized computer equipment at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Between $250,000 and $300,000 worth of items including hard drives and projectors were recovered.  Here at WTVM, we have about 4% of the combined space on our hard drives as what was intercepted in this shipment. 

The items were purchased with stolen identities and shipped by UPS to an address in Fort Mitchell where they were waiting to be picked up by a another professional delivery service with final destinations in foreign countries.

Russell County deputies were tipped off by local law enforcement in Bryson City, North Carolina investigating a case of individual identity theft.

Authorities learned that a medical doctor from Bryson City had two fraudulent purchases on his credit card and the items were being shipped to Fort Mitchell, Alabama.

When Russell County deputies arrived at the address, they found a lot more than they were expecting.

The small order on the doctor's credit card had already come and gone, but a much larger illegally purchased order, obtained by scammers pretending to work for publisher, McGraw Hill, in New York City, was waiting to be picked up.

About 1200 2-terabyte hard drives, scanners and other high-tech equipment, bought online from Office Depot and ASI Computer, arrived at the building moments earlier and they were waiting to be picked up.  If deputies arrived even an hour later, they may have missed the whole thing.

Federal investigators tell Russell County Sheriff, Heath Taylor, they believe this fraud was perpetrated by a nationally known crime syndicate.  

It's unknown exactly what was planned for this equipment.  Authorities speculate that the thieves were planning to sell it on the black market in places like Nigeria where the citizens don't normally have access to these types of items.  However, the hard drives may have been intended for more nefarious purposes.

No suspects are in custody yet, but law enforcement agencies have warrants for at least one person and they expect to make arrests in the near future.

Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved.

  • Most ReadMost ReadMore>>

  • Man indicted for attempted murder of Lanett police officer

    Man indicted for attempted murder of Lanett police officer

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 12:22 PM EDT2014-09-16 16:22:25 GMT
    A Chambers County grand jury has indicted Jarod Moreland for Attempted Capital Murder of a Lanett police officer.  Per Lanett Police Chief Angie Spates, in August of 2013, Moreland allegedly took policeMore >>
    A Chambers County grand jury has indicted Jarod Moreland for Attempted Capital Murder of a Lanett police officer.  Per Lanett Police Chief Angie Spates, in August of 2013, Moreland allegedly took policeMore >>
  • Father accused of killing 5 children extradited back to S. Carolina

    Father accused of killing 5 children extradited back to S. Carolina

    Thursday, September 11 2014 7:56 PM EDT2014-09-11 23:56:58 GMT
    The father accused of killing and dumping the bodies of his five children along a rural dirt road in Wilcox County, Alabama was successfully extradited back to the state of South CarolinaMore >>
    The father accused of killing and dumping the bodies of his five children along a rural dirt road in Wilcox County, Alabama was successfully extradited back to the state of South Carolina Thursday to face charges, according to local reports.More >>
  • breaking

    Missing juvenile boy located

    Missing juvenile boy located

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-09-16 16:05:39 GMT
    The Columbus Police Department has located a missing juvenile and returned him to his residence. Terrell D. Baldwin, also known as "Tank," was last seen at 513 35th Street on Wednesday, Sept. 10 2014.More >>
    The Columbus Police Department has located a missing juvenile and returned him to his residence. Terrell D. Baldwin, also known as "Tank," was last seen at 513 35th Street on Wednesday, Sept. 10 2014.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, Ga. 31906

FCC Public File
publicfile@wtvm.com
706-494-5400
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WTVM. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.