LONGVIEW/GREGG COUNTY (KYTX) - Texas Department of Public Safety investigators are searching phone records in a four-month fraud investigation that has led to at least five arrests.
The latest arrest was 42-year-old Ronnette Felicia Boyd, of Longview, on Aug. 5, after DPS Trooper Dan Collins got a search warrant for an iPhone that was in Boyd's vehicle on that date.
The investigation began April 11 during a traffic stop on Interstate 20 in Smith County. According to records in the Gregg County District Clerk's Office, DPS Trooper Glen Davenport stopped a vehicle that was occupied by 57-year-old Billy Tatum, 39-year-old Christopher McDonald, of Tyler, and 39-year-old Tomecka Robinson and 25-year-ild Mike Monyae Robinson, both of Shreveport, La.
A vehicle search revealed a black plastic bag that contained paperwork with the last names and Social Security numbers for several potential victims who were not in the vehicle, according to records. The bag also contained six fake Texas DPS temporary permits, with photos of Tomecka Robinson on four fake permits, and Mika Robinson on two fake permits, but with identifying information for several other victims; and the bag contained four checks made paybale to four people not seated in the vehicle.
McDonald was in possession of an Apple iPhone, and Mika Robinson and Tomecka Robinson both told investigators that, earlier that day, they say "an unknown black female" give McDonald the papers found inside the black plastic bag, according to court records. Trooper Davenport also obtained surveillance video of Mika Robinson and Tomecka Robinson trying to cash one of the fake checks at Wal-Mart in Lindale.
A search of McDonald's phone revealed numerous text messages with identifying information for several victims, whose information was also found in the black plastic bag. On June 25, through a photo lineup, Mika Robinson identified the "unknown black female" who gave the information to McDonald, according to records. A DPS investigator then obtained an arrest warrant for Boyd and a search warrant for her phone.
Boyd is being held in the Smith County Jail on $300,000 bond, charged with fraudulent use or possession of between five and 10 pieces of identifying information. She was originally taken to the Gregg County Jail Aug. 5, but transferred to Tyler three days later.
McDonald, Tatum, Mika Robinson and Tomecka Robinson were all booked into the Smith County Jail on April 11 for fraud. McDonald and Tatum were released the same day on $5,000 bond but have not been indicted by a grand jury. Mika Robinson was held until July 26 without bond for failing to comply with authorities, and she has been indicted for state jail felony fraud. Tomecka Robinson was released from the Smith County Jail on April 14, and she is scheduled to go to jury trial for fraud at the Smith County Courthouse on Sept. 10.