Police in Ripon were able to intervene before items a woman believed she was sending out to Russian Federation orphanages were actually sent out to a militia-type group. Officers were alerted by an Iowa firearms dealer who found out an item to be shipped to a Ripon residence was purchased with a stolen credit card. Police learned a number of packages had been sent to that address.
Captain Bill Wallner says the woman thought she was being employed through a temp-agency online to receive package, readdress and ship out to the overseas orphanages. The first few packages she was instructed to open, repack and send out did contain items that would be sent to orphanages. Wallner says they got a search warrant and discovered the 20 packages she didn’t open or ship yet contained military and police type items.
Through the investigation Ripon police were able to identify at least 20 victims of credit card theft from across the U.S. They were also able to recover over $15,000 worth of stolen property purchased with stolen credit card information.
As for the woman, Wallner says she probably won’t be charged because they were able to verify her story through her computer’s records. In addition to the Post Office, local law enforcement got help from the FBI and Federal Immigration and Customs Officers in their investigation.