Florida police on Monday arrested five men in connection with a mail fraud scheme involving a stolen U.S. Postal Service key and more than 2,000 stolen checks.
"This is a very serious case," Detective Kimberly Mead of the Delray Beach Police Department said. "It's really massive when you break it down."
The string of mail fraud cases landed five Delray Beach men behind bars. All five of them – Robbie Cadet, Dario Cadet, Billy Cadet, Jordan St. Val and Schan Padovany – have since bonded out of jail.
Mead said the investigation started when the U.S. Postal Inspection Service contacted Delray Beach police because they believed the five suspects were connected to local mail theft cases.
"We started looking into them a little bit and then we ended up interviewing one of the subjects who gave us some information," Mead told Scripps News West Palm Beach.
Mead said that led Delray Beach police to a home where they discovered a large amount of evidence tying the group to an ongoing scheme.
"So far we've conducted three search warrants, and we've recovered about over 2,000 checks, about 150 bank cards," Mead said. "We've recovered two embossing machines. We've recovered evidence of check washing and check-making materials."
According to the probable cause affidavit, they also discovered a USPS key that was stolen last November.
"They are connecting armed robberies of postal carriers to obtain the key," Mead said. "The key then opens up the mailboxes, where they're obtaining the mail and then they take the checks out of the mail and use those to counterfeit. They're washing the checks. They're creating new checks."
Mead said police are working with other area law enforcement agencies, including the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, Boynton Beach Police Department and West Palm Beach Police Department, and it's possible this group could be connected to mail fraud cases in those areas.
She said the investigation is still ongoing.
"There are additional arrests forthcoming," Mead said.
This story was originally published by Jessica Bruno at Scripps News West Palm Beach.
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