The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

January 24, 2012

Greenville woman pleads guilty to stealing almost 100 IDs

By BRAD KELLAR
Associated Press

GREENVILLE — Another local resident is the latest defendant to receive a prison sentence after pleading guilty to being a member of a widespread identity theft ring operating in Hunt County.

Jessica Gassaway Jones, 34, of Greenville, has admitted to stealing and using the identities of almost 100 people.

Jones pleaded guilty Monday during a hearing in the 196th District Court to a charge of fraudulent use/possession of identification information-50 or more and was facing a sentence of up to life in prison for a conviction on the charge, one of approximately two dozen counts she was facing, including eight indictments for engaging in organized criminal activity.

Jones was alleged in the indictment returned in March of last year to have been one of four people who obtained and/or used identification information — including names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and credit card account numbers — from 94 victims in the summer of 2010.

Under a plea bargain arrangement, 196th District Court Judge Steve Tittle sentenced Jones to 15 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Institutional Division. Jones admitted responsibility for, but was not formally prosecuted on, the remaining pending charges.

Jones was the ninth defendant indicted in connection with the scheme to be sentenced and at least nine more defendants have charges pending in the case.