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Mail Theft Ring Busted In Modesto

Two Modesto women are jailed and a third is being sought in connection with a mail theft ring that took hundreds of pieces of mail from rural mailboxes in Stanislaus County.

Marni Lyn Edwards and Margaret Whateley are being held on federal charges, and a federal warrant has been issued for Kristine Alejandra Hernandez. Postal Inspectors and police say more than 170 victims have been identified so far.

They say the women would use credit cards stolen from the mail to make internet purchases, and would alter and forge checks, then cash them at Modesto area businesses. Detective Jim Eichbaum says a single piece of stolen mail can result in a five year prison term and quarter million dollar fine.