Crime

Man in Keller identity theft ring used stolen cards to sell hotel rooms to pimps

Identity theft ring busted in Keller, 7 arrested

Keller police with assistance from other local and federal agencies arrested 7 people on Thursday allegedly involved in an identity theft ring.
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Keller police with assistance from other local and federal agencies arrested 7 people on Thursday allegedly involved in an identity theft ring.

A Lewisville man who stole more than a thousand credit and debit card numbers was sentenced on Monday to nearly five years in federal prison.

Odis Edwards, 40, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit access device fraud in January.

Edwards stole more than 1,200 credit and and debit card numbers via the darknet and internet chat rooms. He and several others who are charged in the case used counterfeit cards to book more than $250,000 in rooms and incidentals at hotels around Dallas-Fort Worth, authorities said.

According to testimony in court on Monday, Edwards sub-rented the rooms to drug dealers and pimps at a fraction of their true cost.

Hotel personnel became suspicious when multiple people racked up hefty room service bills, all charged to Edwards’ account.

On Oct. 11, investigators found that Edwards and a woman named Kayla Klutts were at a hotel in Carrollton and met them at their room. They confronted the pair about the scheme and Edwards gave them five sheets of paper containing about 69 credit card numbers with various expiration dates and names of other people, according to court documents obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

During that same interview, Edwards later handed investigators a notepad with more than 400 handwritten credit card numbers. He also gave investigators five altered credit cards, the document says.

The investigation continued into November, and investigators found more fraudulent credit cards, the document says.

“To date, investigators have determined that Edwards and Klutts were in possession of approximately 1,200 credit card numbers,” the document says.

Edward and Klutts were arrested in November. A month later, police busted another part of the identity theft ring. Arrests were made at a home in the 7500 block of Shady Grove Road in Keller. Kristy Jackson also faces federal charges in relation to the scheme, according to court documents.

The cases against Klutts and Jackson are still pending.

“More and more, we’re seeing perpetrators attempt to cloak themselves in the seeming anonymity of the darknet,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. “But they should know that we prioritize the investigation of illicit activity on the darknet and will vigorously prosecute this unlawful behavior.”

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Nichole Manna reports on crime, breaking news and other mayhem across North Texas. Before moving to Fort Worth in July 2018, she covered crime and breaking news in Tennessee, North Carolina, Nebraska and Kansas. She is a 2012 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and grew up in Florida.


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