Third member of Naperville forgery ring sentenced
BY BILL BIRD email@example.com February 16, 2013 6:04PM
Decopeland S. Harris pleaded guilty recently in DuPage County Court to a felony charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering, | Submitted
Updated: March 21, 2013 6:13AM
The third member of a forgery ring that Naperville police said was working for organized crime in Eastern Europe has been convicted and sentenced for his part in that scheme.
Decopeland S. Harris pleaded guilty in DuPage County Circuit Court to a felony charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering, said Paul Darrah, spokesman for State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin.
Judge Daniel P. Guerin on Thursday sentenced Harris to six months in DuPage County Jail and placed him on four years of probation, Darrah said. Harris was given 122 days of credit for time he spent in jail following his arrest, and with day-for-day credit for good behavior, has already completed that term.
Harris, 41, of Conley, Ga., was one of seven people arrested Oct. 15 for allegedly setting up what police said was a “laboratory” in a hotel room on Naperville’s north side. Computers, specialized printers and counterfeit documents used in making phony identification were seized from the lab, a police spokesman said last fall.
A police officer who was working near the hotel one day noted suspicious activity on the part of at least one of the suspects. That started the investigation and led to the arrests.
More than 50 fraudulent money transfers were allegedly made by members of the group, the spokesman said. Investigators also recovered 62 counterfeit identification cards and a number of forged passports.
Harris and the others were working for an Eastern European crime group, the spokesman said. They moved from hotel to hotel during the scam, which reportedly involved dozens of victims from Naperville and other far western suburbs.
Ring member Darrick L. Jordan, 23, of Decatur, Ga., was sentenced Feb. 8 to six months in jail on a money laundering charge. Shanekie D Head, 28, of Scottsdale, Ga., was sentenced Dec. 28 to jail. Four other men and women are awaiting trial in the case.