Woman working for crime ring sentenced
BY BILL BIRD firstname.lastname@example.org December 27, 2012 12:52AM
Shanekie D. Head, 28, remains in DuPage County Jail, after being convicted of participating in a continuing financial crimes enterprise. Head and six others from Georgia were arrested in October by Naperville police, who allege they were stealing identities and other information from local residents and supplying it to an organized crime ring in eastern Europe.
Updated: January 29, 2013 6:25AM
The first of seven people Naperville police believe were working for an organized crime group in eastern Europe has been sentenced to jail for her role in that effort.
Shanekie D. Head remains in DuPage County Jail in Wheaton, after pleading guilty to a felony charge of participating in a continuing financial crimes enterprise. Records on file in DuPage County Circuit Court indicated two identical counts - as well as charges of conspiracy to commit a financial crime, conspiracy to commit money laundering and possession of a fradulent driver’s license - were dismissed in exchange for her plea.
Head, 28, of Scottsdale, Ga., was convicted by Judge Daniel P. Guerin, who sentenced her Dec. 18 to six months in jail. Guerin also placed Head on four years of probation, according to records.
Naperville police on Oct. 15 arrested Head and six associates after they had set up a “laboratory” in a hotel room on the city’s north side. The lab contained computers, specialized printers and phony documents that were allegedly used to make counterfeit identification, police said in October.
More than 50 fraudulent money transfers were allegedly made by Head and her associates. Police also recovered 62 counterfeit identification cards and numerous forged passports.
Cmdr. Brian Cunningham, who oversees the department’s investigations unit, said the suspects used “multiple” hotels when scamming their victims, who reportedly included dozens of people from the Naperville area.
Cunningham labeled the suspects a “traveling crime group” working for organized crime in the Eastern European bloc. He would not say where, specifically, that crime ring is headquartered.
While it is common for criminals to target potential identity theft victims via CraigsList and similar websites, Cunningham said Head and the others were undone by an alert Naperville police officer.
The officer was working near the hotel from which the group was operating and “noticed suspicious activity” one day on the part of at least one of the suspects, Cunningham said. That, in turn, sparked the police investigation and led to the arrests, he said.
Head’s alleged accomplices include Sierra S. Chambers, 25, of Decatur, Ga.; Jacqueline C. Gibson, 46, also of Decatur, Ga., and her husband, Rickey L. Gibson, 44, of Atlanta; Decopeland S. Harris, 41, of Conley, Ga.; Alicia Y. Jordan, 38, of Clarkston, Ga.; and Darrick L. Jordan, 23, of Decatur, Ga. The cases against them are pending.
Cunningham said he was not certain how seven people from Georgia ended up operating in Naperville.