PITTSBURGH, Pa – A resident of Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating federal firearms laws, conspiracy to commit identity theft offenses, unauthorized use of counterfeit driver’s licenses and credit cards, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and accessing protected computers without permission, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Quinyahta Rochelle, 32, pleaded guilty yesterday to six counts before United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Rochelle participated in a number of different crimes. Between March 2016 and July 2016, Rochelle assisted another individual gain access to social media accounts of various celebrities by hacking into their accounts. During a search warrant related to that investigation, law enforcement executed a search warrant at her home, where the officers located several stolen firearms and many rounds of ammunition. Rochelle was a felon at the time of the search and therefore could not legally possess firearms or ammunition under federal law.
Contemporaneously with the execution of the arrest warrant on the firearms charge, law enforcement executed a second search warrant at her home based on information that Rochelle was engaged in a complex multi-state identity theft scheme. Ultimately, the investigation revealed that Rochelle obtained the names, dates of birth, social security numbers, credits cards, and other information through a variety of means, including through purchasing the material on the internet. Rochelle and her conspirators would then use that information to manufacture counterfeit credit cards and driver’s licenses, which they then used to make purchases and apply for credit both on-line and in person.
Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing for November 26, 2018. The law provides for a total maximum possible sentence of no less than two years and no more than 48 years in prison, a fine of $1,350,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The United States Secret Service and the United States Postal Inspection Service, in conjunction with the multiple police departments in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and California, including police departments from Columbus, Ohio, Canfield, Ohio, Bucks County, Ohio, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ross Township, Pennsylvania, Wilkins Township, Pennsylvania, and Los Angeles, California, conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Rochelle.
SOURCE: news provided by JUSTICE.GOV on Tuesday, July 3, 2018.