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Career identity thief gets four years

After one of the largest indictments in Jackson County Circuit Court history, a Medford woman will spend the next four years in prison for a rash of identity thefts that plagued more than 100 victims.

Dawn Estelle Brumble, 38, a career criminal, was sentenced Dec. 12 to 52 months in prison after pleading guilty to 98 counts of identity theft, forgery and theft, according to Jackson County Deputy District Attorney Virginia Greer.

"This may be the biggest indictment in this county's history," Greer said. "It took (Medford police Detective Kathryn Ivens) and I the better part of a week to put it together after her arrest."

The case against Brumble hinged on an "absolute fluke," Ivens said.

In October, Medford Gang and Street Drug Unit officers were serving a search warrant at a residence for an unrelated crime when they discovered Brumble was staying at the house.

Because she has warrants out of Virginia, Brumble gave the officers a fake name to escape extradition.

The ruse crumbled instantly. Brumble is a familiar face to local law enforcement, Ivens said.

"She has a horrendous criminal history," she said. "I dealt with her back when I was on patrol. You ask any detective in this valley and they'll know Dawn Brumble."

According to Greer, Brumble has more than 40 arrest cycles in Jackson County alone.

A search of her van turned up a box full of mail belonging to more than 100 people. Brumble used acetone to erase ink from checks that she would cash using the victim's name.

Ivens worked closely with Medford police officer Bob McCurly to link Brumble with the victims.

One unlucky target was 9-year-old Tyler Easton, who had his college savings cleared by Brumble.

"His account ended up going $1,500 in the hole," said Jennie Easton, Tyler's mother. "It took three months of frustration for the bank to restore the money."

Tyler, who attends Griffin Creek Elementary in Medford, spoke to the judge during Brumble's sentencing in order to push for a stiff penalty.

"Early on we were told that the police probably wouldn't catch someone and if they did they wouldn't do much time," Jennie Easton said. "We are glad she is doing jail time."

Greer worked to counter Brumble's attempt to lessen her sentence.

"We felt that alternative incarceration was not valid in this case," Greer said. "She'll be serving as much time as the penitentiary can keep her."

Brumble still owes a hefty amount of restitution for numerous theft and forgery convictions dating back to the late 1990s, court records show.

Identity theft typically carries a maximum sentence of 13 months. Ivens is happy that Brumble will be going away for much longer.

"Maybe this time we'll send a different message," Ivens said.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471, or e-mail cconrad@mailtribune.com.

Career identity thief gets four years