Crime

Mail theft investigation lead to charges against KC man, woman

John Hughes and Roxanne Portwood are charged in Clay County with stealing mail.
John Hughes and Roxanne Portwood are charged in Clay County with stealing mail. KRT

A man and woman from Kansas City face charges related to a two-year-long, large-scale investigation involving the theft of mail.

Clay County prosecutors charged John Hughes and Roxanne Portwood after both allegedly admitted they were part of an organized group stealing mail from residential mailboxes and large collection boxes.

Hughes, 38, was charged with one count of trafficking stolen identities for his alleged role in the thefts. He was released Friday on his own recognizance. Arraignment is scheduled May 12 in Clay County.

Portwood, 27, was charged with one count each of trafficking stolen identities and possession of a controlled substance. She was allegedly in possession of crystal meth and marijuana when she was arrested.

Bond for Portwood was set at $25,000. She is scheduled for arraignment Monday in Clay County.

According to prosecutors, Hughes and Portwood were part of a group that was being investigated for stealing mail. The investigation begin in March 2015, according to court documents.

The group, prosecutors say, used the stolen mail to open accounts in the names of others, fraudulently purchase items and obtain cash.

Police arrested Portwood while she was allegedly driving a stolen car March 4, 2015, in Gladstone. She was reportedly in possession of crystal meth and marijuana when she was arrested.

According to court documents, officers found Portwood in possession of large amounts of paperwork and forms of identification belonging to at least thirteen different names, some of which were stolen.

When questioned, Portwood allegedly admitted to being part of the group. She also told police she was at a friend’s house when other people showed up with a U.S. Postal Service collection mailbox.

Court records indicate the box was reported stolen from the 500 block of Englewood Road on March 3, 2015.

Police later reportedly found multiple stolen documents and a blue USPS collection box in a shed behind Hughes’ home after a search.

Hughes denied to police that he stole the USPS collection box, but allegedly admitted to stealing mail by fishing in mailboxes for checks.

Toriano Porter: 816-234-4779, @torianoporter

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