The pair allegedly used stolen financial information to resell high-end items including lawn mowers, tractors and appliances.
Two men in Homer Glen allegedly made more than $1 million in an identity theft scheme that involved reselling high-end purchases including lawn mowers, tractors and appliances.
Jamelle McBride and Brenden Butler allegedly used stolen financial information over two years to make the online purchases and resell the goods in online forums, Lake Forest police said in a statement.
The investigation began in June 2018 when a Lake Forest resident reported their identity stolen, police said.
The investigation, which included the U.S. Secret Service, DEA and Chicago Police Department, eventually focused on McBride, 32, and Butler, 22.
At their Homer Glen home, police allegedly seized several tools used to make fake ID and credit cards. Authorities also seized two loaded guns, fraudulently purchased appliances, multiple vehicles, computers, cellphones, leather goods and other suspected stolen property, police said.
Authorities believe McBride led a theft ring that got information from the so-called Dark Web. He obtained things like names and driver’s license numbers and then used equipment to make fake credit cards and fake driver’s licenses.
“This investigation is the largest of its kind ever conducted in Will County,” the sheriff’s office said in a separate statement.
McBride is charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, two counts of aggravated ID theft and organizing a criminal financial enterprise. McBride was ordered held on $250,000 bail, according to county records.
McBride criminal history includes a 2011 guilty plea and 3-year sentence in federal prison for ID theft and bank fraud.
Butler is charged with a felony count each of continuing a criminal financial enterprise, ID theft and possession of stolen or fraudulent credit cards. He was ordered held on $75,000 bail.
Both men are due back in Will County court June 25.