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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Western District of Missouri

For Immediate Release

August 31, 2011

Beth Phillips, United States Attorney

Contact: Don Ledford, Public Affairs
(816) 426-4220

Two Independence Residents Indicted for Stealing Identity to Conduct Firearms Transactions

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that two Independence, Mo., residents were indicted by a federal grand jury today for their roles in an identity theft conspiracy that involved illegal firearm transactions.

Steven P. Hernandez, 31, and Mary A. Turner, 41, both of Independence, were charged in a seven-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo.

Today’s indictment alleges that, from Jan. 1, 2011, to Aug. 10, 2011, Hernandez and Turner were involved in an identity theft conspiracy. According to the indictment, they stole the identity of another person (identified as K.T.) in order to obtain a clean name that could be used to conduct firearms transactions at area pawn shops. Conspirators, who could not legally purchase firearms in their own names, then split the proceeds from those firearm transactions.

Using the stolen identity of K.T., the indictment says, Hernandez purchased a Jimenez 9mm pistol at an Independence pawn shop, pawned a Glock 9mm pistol at the same pawn shop, then later redeemed the Glock 9 mm pistol. Hernandez allegedly pawned a Jennings Bryco 9 mm pistol at a pawn shop in Topeka, Kan.

In addition to the conspiracy, Hernandez and Turner are charged together with one count of aggravated identity theft. Hernandez is also charged with two counts of furnishing a false identification


This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at:

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