SOUTH BEND – Lafiamma Orona, age 33, of Elkhart, Indiana, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Damon R. Leichty upon his plea of guilty to possession of stolen mail, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, and felon in possession of a firearm, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Bell.
Orona was sentenced to 108 months of imprisonment followed by 2 years of supervised release.
According to documents filed in this case, during the spring of 2020, Orona stole mail from mailboxes near Elkhart, Indiana. The mail contained, checks, check books, debit and credit cards, and personal information of victims. Orona then forged checks, fraudulently used victims’ debit and credit cards, and opened new credit card accounts using victims’ stolen personal information. In May 2020, a description of the car stealing mail was broadcast to all local police departments. On May 6, 2020, the car was located in Bristol, Indiana. Orona was driving the car and possessed fake drivers’ licenses with his own photo and victims’ names, stolen checks and check books, other stolen mail items, a handgun holster and a box of ammunition. On the road nearby, police found a loaded handgun that was thrown out of the car. The following day, police searched a house in Michigan where Orona was residing. Police found more stolen mail items, stolen checks and check books, a printer with more fake drivers’ licenses, tools for forging checks, notebooks with victims’ personal information, handgun ammunition, and narcotics paraphernalia. In total, Orona had stolen items and checks valued at more than $226,000, stolen mail from approximately 46 victims, and the personal information of approximately 253 people.
The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department; Bristol Police Department; Cass County Sheriff’s Department (Michigan); and Cassopolis Police Department (Michigan). This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Luke N. Reilander.