Wigs, Stolen Credit Cards Found After Florida Gang Members Arrested in Rockford

Posted at 3:11 PM, Nov 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-06 15:17:22-05

screen-shot-2013-08-21-at-4-06-21-pmKENT COUNTY, Mich. — Court documents are providing more details about a Florida-based identity theft gang that surfaced in West Michigan this summer.

Travis Brown, 31, and 34-year-old Melissa Duncan were arrested Aug. 21 after fleeing from police following a string of alleged car break-ins.  Rockford police located them two days after they allegedly attempted to cash a forged stolen check at Choice One Bank, 6795 Courtland Dr.

According to a recently-released FBI criminal complaint, authorities located debit cards, credit cards, checks, social security cards and drivers’ licenses belonging to eight people after searching Duncan and Brown’s rental car.  Six of those people were Kent County residents who had things stolen from their parked cars between Aug. 10 and 19.

In addition to those items, Rockford police also discovered three women’s wigs, a screwdriver and a window punch.

Duncan and Brown are tied to the Lauderdale, Fla.-based Felony Lane gang, known for identity theft crimes.  In the complaint, officials say Duncan admitted to being recruited in a drug house more than a year ago and had cashed more than 100 stolen checks since then, always for amounts less than $2,000.

She told them she had traveled with a man named Brace for more than a year to places like Maryland and Kentucky to commit the fraud, and that he would sometimes “rent her out” to other fraud participants for the same purpose.

Duncan claims she and Brown are part of a larger ring in West Michigan involving at least five other alleged members of the Felony Lane gang.

The FBI agent who wrote the complaint claims that this new group is replacing an earlier one of eight Felony Lane members whose leader, Marcus Thames, was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years in prison in January.