Identity theft ring busted in Keller, 7 arrested
More details about a North Texas identity theft ring that was busted in January are slowly being released.
On Jan. 10, local and federal authorities searched a home in south Keller and arrested seven people, four of whom were later let go. Colleyville police — who started the investigation, according to federal documents — have released little details and sent the Fort Worth Star-Telegram a heavily redacted police report that didn’t provide a narrative of their investigation.
However, federal documents shed some light on the ring.
Five months before the arrests of Stewart Keal and Kristy Jackson, federal authorities arrested Kayla Klutts and Odis Edwards for allegedly compromising thousands of credit cards in a hotel room purchasing scheme worth $250,000, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.
The pair would rent one or two rooms in different hotels in Dallas, Fort Worth and other areas and then sub-rent the room to other people at lower fees, the document says. Klutts is accused of buying those rooms with credit card numbers she bought from a “carding network,” an online exchange where credit card numbers are bought and sold.
Klutts and Edwards were later arrested and authorities determined they possessed about 1,200 stolen credit card numbers.
Then, on Jan. 10, local and federal authorities raided the Keller home in the 7500 block of Shady Grove Road.
Keller police said that day that the group of men and women were accused of stealing credit cards all over North Texas and then creating fake cards. Asked about the number of victims, investigators said the number was “too numerous” and there are many they’ll never know.
Police wouldn’t confirm who was involved in the alleged ring, and said only that Keal, 30; Jackson, 39; and Jordyn Tabor, 20, all of Keller, were arrested on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Keal and Jackson were also arrested on a charge related to identity theft. Jackson has been charged in federal court.
The documents say that police found stolen Walmart, PayPal and Mastercard credit cards in Keal’s possession. The Star-Telegram could not find any charges against Keal related to the ring or the drug paraphernalia in either federal or district court. He is not listed as being in the Tarrant County Jail.
Officers found used syringes and various drugs, including cocaine, in Jackson’s possession, documents say.
A second criminal complaint that was unsealed in federal court in February charges Jackson, Samantha Swindell and Jordan Rotenberry in connection with the hotel scheme. Neither Keal nor Tabor are implicated.
The complaint says that Swindell obtained at least 10,000 credit card numbers, but estimated only about 70 percent were valid. She also estimated spending about $100,000 on hotel rooms using the fraudulent cars since last summer.
Swindell, Jackson and Rotenberry used the profits from the scheme to buy drugs, the complaint says.