Man And Woman Arrested, Suspected In Nationwide ID Theft Operation
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office has arrested a man and woman they believe are connected to a sophisticated nationwide identity theft operation.
Rahamanh Nwachumu Katumbusi, 38, and Donmetra Sherman, 24, were arrested Thursday.
The Sheriff's Office says this concludes a seven-month investigation.
They say Katumbusi, also known as "Big Roc," is from California. Investigators say he would fly from state-to-state, stealing IDs, only staying in one city for a week at a time.
"We got 'em the night before he left," said Major Tom Huckeby. "He was supposed to leave the next day."
Huckeby said, when deputies arrested the duo in Oklahoma City Thursday, they recovered a slew of fake credit cards, driver's licenses, and dozens of high-value gift cards to everywhere from restaurants to Walmart.
They also found high-end clothing and a pile of the latest smart phones, worth $500 a piece, investigators say.
"He sends them back to someplace, and then they're sold on the street for half of what they're worth," Huckeby said.
Huckeby said they started calling Katumbusi "Big Roc," after finding a promotional video on YouTube, where Katumbusi was apparently selling CDs ahead of a Tech N9ne concert
They say Katumbusi had been getting fake IDs made out of state, and was recruiting accomplices, like Donmetra Sherman, to use them to open up credit accounts across Oklahoma.
The police report says one victim in Pennsylvania had fake accounts at Target, Bass Pro Shop, Best Buy, Verizon and Sprint opened in her name.
Deputies Thursday found an ID bearing that victim's name and Sherman's photo in Katumbusi's vehicle.
Investigators found IDs issued from several other states, including Ohio, Florida and Texas.
Katumbusi and Sherman are both in jail on multiple complaints.
Katumbusi faces 16 counts each of conspiracy to commit a felony, obtaining merchandise worth more than $500 by false pretense, and identity theft, as well as 21 counts of grand larceny.
Sherman is jailed on 16 counts each of conspiracy to commit a felony, identity theft, obtaining merchandise worth more than $500 by false pretense, and one count of grand larceny.
Huckeby said that's all, "Just in the seven days that he's been here."
The major thinks that may be just the tip of the iceberg.
"We know, based on our investigation, he has done it for three years," Huckeby said.
Huckeby also said, last year the duo used a fake credit account to buy $3,000 in high-end tools at a Tulsa Lowe's.
"Every retail store that he goes into becomes a victim, so the number of victims is enormous," Huckeby said.
He said it will take time to see just how many victims there are. He believes, based on the quality of the fake IDs, this could be part of something much bigger.
"There's no doubt in my mind that whoever is creating these IDs for him, is creating them for someone else," Huckeby said.
Because this is believed to have covered a number of states, the case will now be turned over to the FBI.
Katumbusi's bond amounts to $410,000 and Sherman's to $370,000.