A Nevada County man has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for offenses committed during a 2011 crime spree.
U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley today sentenced Jasen Lynn Dushane, 38, of Rough and Ready for possession of stolen U.S. mail, possession of stolen credit cards with the intent to defraud and aggravated identity theft, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. Dushane was previously convicted after a five-day trial.
According to testimony presented at trial, about 2:25 a.m. on June 5, 2011, a Nevada County sheriff’s deputy observed a silver Lexus sedan southwest of Nevada City. He checked the license plate number of the Lexus and confirmed that it had been reported stolen.
The deputy stopped the vehicle and directed the driver to turn off the engine. Although the driver initially complied, he restarted the engine and drove off. A vehicle chase ensued for nearly 1.5 miles on dark and muddy Black Forest Road, authorities said.
The two occupants got out of the vehicle and fled, but the driver first threw the Lexus into reverse, sending it backward toward the deputy and then down an embankment.
Law enforcement officers were unable to locate the driver, but they found the passenger, Manda Lynn Wentzloff, hiding in nearby brush. Wentzloff identified the driver as Dushane. He was arrested later that day in Grass Valley as he attempted to pick up a police scanner that he had ordered using a stolen credit card, authorities said.
According to court documents, Wentzloff told officers that she and Dushane had been stealing mail and other items from mailboxes and a residence in and around Nevada County. Wentzloff said she and Dushane had stolen a BMW and that it was parked outside the motel room she and Dushane had occupied in Reno.
Officers searched the motel room, the Lexus and BMW and found bags, folders and other containers full of opened and unopened U.S. mail addressed to people in Nevada County and Las Vegas. They also found photocopies of credit cards and various official identification documents, credit cards, opened bank and credit card statements, and personal checks. In all, more than a thousand pieces of stolen mail were recovered, authorities said.
The case resulted from an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.