Russell County Sheriff Office recovers $250,000 in technology eq - WRBL

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Russell County Sheriff Office recovers $250,000 in technology equipment

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PHENIX CITY, Ala. -

More than $250,000 worth of computer equipment has been seized from a Fort Mitchell home in what the Russell County sheriff is calling a "huge international operation."

Sheriff Heath Taylor says, "These people had obviously gotten a scam, an Internet scam. This is a national syndicate."

1200 two-terabyte hard drives, at least eight overhead projectors and a few car parts make up the spread in Russell County. Sheriff Taylor says the items were recovered from a house in Fort Mitchell after his office received a call about an identity theft case in Bryson City, N.C.

A doctor reported his bank card had been used fraudulently for two computer-related purchases. The investigation led to Fort Mitchell, where deputies found much more.

Bryson City Asst. Police Chief James Jones says, "I definitely didn't know we would find all this, but the Russell County Sheriff's Department acted quickly, and here we have it. We're knee-deep into this matter."

The sheriff says now his department is working with the FBI on the investigation. They say packages have been shipped all over the world to countries like England and Nigeria, and could involve selling the products on the black market.

"We have found out that some of these items that have came to the address in Fort Mitchell has already been sent on to some out-of-country addresses," says the sheriff, "and these things...were probably heading to the same location or destination."

The names of companies like education giant McGraw-Hill were used to send out fraudulent purchase orders to Office Depot and the ASI computer company out of New York. The sheriff says they're still trying to recover some items and get them back where they belong.

The sheriff's office has a warrant out for one man in connection with this bust, but no names are being released at this time. He says they are also looking at multiple targets in Detroit.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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James Brierton

James joined WRBL News 3 with experience from CNN, NBC News and his own hyper-local news site. He manages the WRBL News 3 Web desk. More>>

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