Atascosa County Sergeant- Deputy John Rothenbach and Deputy Corey Juber made a traffic stop April 21st which led to an extensive investigation into alleged mail thefts and identity thefts.
The deputies noticed a blue Toyota Camry on FM 536 and Las Gallinas Lane acting suspicious. After stopping the vehicle, the deputies were able to determine the driver provided them with a fictitious name. Once she was properly identified, it was determined that she was wanted on a warrant for Violation of Probation. The deputies also found suspected methamphetamine in her possession. Upon further investigation, the deputies discovered over 30 counterfeit checks in the suspect’s possession. CID Sergeant Investigator Wayne Stratton is now handling the investigation which is involving the theft of mail from several rural mail boxes. Investigators believe the suspect was using the identities of the unsuspecting rural residents, and accessing their bank accounts and creating counterfeit checks. Chief Deputy Sheriff David Soward stated the investigation is still in full swing and several Atascosa County residents have been victims of their mail being stolen. Soward stated that residents with rural mail boxes in the Las Gallinas, Loire and Verdi areas as well as any other area should check their bank accounts for any unauthorized activity.
The suspect, Lethema Cleveland, 37, of San Antonio was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine, Failure to Identify and three counts of Tampering with a Government Document. Sheriff’s investigators alleged that Cleveland had obtained three fictitious drivers licenses that were found in her possession when she was arrest.
Deputies recovered several piece of U.S. Mail belonging to residents along FM 536 in the northeast part of the county. Chief Soward stated that the sheriff’s office will be charging Cleveland with thirty counts of Forgery for the counterfeit checks. Pleasanton Police investigators have also charged Cleveland with two counts of Forgery by Passing in connection with checks passed in Pleasanton. Chief Soward is urging any resident that suspects they may have been a victim of this crime spree to contact the sheriff’s office Criminal Investigation Division and speak with Sergeant Stratton. Cleveland remains in the Atascosa County Jail in lieu of bonds totaling $114,500. Soward added that additional charges may be filed as the investigation into the suspect’s activity continues and that the U.S. Postal Inspectors have joined the investigation.