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By NEWSROOM /
July 31 10:15 AM

GEORGIA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO POSSESSING 216 STOLEN SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION CHECKS

More than $144,920 worth of stolen checks found during search

 LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Terry Ulysses Morris, 50, of Lithonia, Ga., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik, to possessing stolen U.S. mail.

According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, authorities pulled over Morris’ vehicle during a traffic stop on January 18, 2012, as he was driving eastbound on Interstate 10 through Calcasieu Parish. A strong odor of marijuana prompted authorities to ask Morris if they could search the vehicle. Authorities found two sacks containing 216 U.S. Treasury checks that had not been cashed. The checks were from Social Security Administration accounts with Georgia addresses. The face value for the checks totaled $144,920. Morris admitted that he traveled to Houston, Texas, to find someone to cash or buy the checks. He could not find buyers because the checks were so old that most of the intended recipients had requested that replacement checks be issued. Morris was driving back to Georgia when he was stopped in Calcasieu Parish.

Morris faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release for possessing stolen mail. A sentencing date was not set.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Calcasieu Anti-drug Task Force conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph T. Mickel is prosecuting the case.

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