Alabama’s Department of Justice (DOJ) released an article on November 17, 2023, detailing the conviction of Kristen Arieale Williams, a 31-year-old resident.
The jury was presented with evidence during the trial that linked Williams to the theft of a USPS “arrow” key in 2022. Further evidence showed that Williams sold the key to a co-conspirator who had already pleaded guilty to bank fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft. Williams received $2,500 cash in exchange for the stolen key. The official release started by stating these facts.
Arrow keys are government property and will open, among other things, all blue USPS collection boxes in a particular geographic area. Stealing and possessing such a key with fraudulent intent is a federal crime. The coconspirator stole hundreds of pieces of mail using the key.
According to the DOJ, Williams had also funneled a portion of the fake checks into her own bank account. To elaborate on the case, the department provided further details, stating:
The stolen checks bore the true names, addresses, and bank account numbers of multiple victims who testified at trial. Among other evidence, the jury reviewed call logs, text messages, pictures, videos, and other data extracted from Williams’s cell phone and the cell phone of a coconspirator. That evidence included a string of text messages that Williams sent in March 2023 regarding the arrow key that she stole and sold in October 2022. In that exchange, which Williams later deleted, Williams stated that she “went through so much anxiety the last time” she stole a key and noted that the Prichard post office was “very strict about it now.”
Williams’ actions have resulted in her facing a substantial amount of time in federal prison. According to their news release, the Alabama DOJ has stated that she will be sentenced in February 2024.
Williams is subject to a mandatory two-year prison sentence for her aggravated identity theft conviction, which must run consecutively to any other sentence she receives. She faces up to 30 years in prison for her conspiracy and bank fraud convictions, and up to 10 years in prison for stealing and selling an arrow key. Williams will also be ordered to pay restitution to her victims.
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