A Le Center man that came under suspicion of alleged involvement in check fraud and forgery has been accused of stealing from another victim.
Brandon Daniel Brandt, 34, was charged of felony check forgery on April 28.
According to a criminal complaint, police were alerted by a person on Feb. 25 claiming that a $99.76 check they wrote out was stolen out of their mailbox. Police said a check with the same number was discovered to have been altered to write out $599.26 to Brandt and was deposited.
Brandt was previously investigated and charged with four counts earlier this year, including a felony offense for offering a forged check, a gross misdemeanor for possessing a controlled substance of the fifth degree, a misdemeanor for driving after revocation and a felony charge of theft by check.
In a prior complaint, police said that Brandt came under suspicion after two sources told them he was involved in check fraud and forgery as well as the use and sale of methamphetamine.
One of the checks that was intended to be mailed to Verizon was altered to be written out to Brandt for $110. Police used this information to draft a search warrant for Brandt’s car and residence.
On Feb. 15, a complainant told police that they put several personal checks in the mailbox to pay various companies, but later learned that the checks were forged and cashed out his bank accounts. The total amount of checks cashed added up to $2,111.33.
Police then received another complaint the following day from the owner of Beer Oil and Tire in Le Center. The business owner told police that Brandt had cashed six checks at his businesses to purchase lottery tickets and cigarettes, totaling $1,098 between the dollar amounts and check fees.
The owner of the Amoco gas station in Le Center and the BP gas station in Cleveland also reported that Brandt used eight checks to purchase lottery tickets and cigarettes, totaling $1,064 between the dollar amount and check fees.
While surveilling Brandt, police reportedly observed him driving toward the city of Le Sueur and found that he had his driving status revoked. Brandt was then told to pull over and exit the vehicle so that police could search his car.
Within the vehicle, police reportedly found a receipt from Menards with the same number as one of the forged checks, as well as a glass water bong, which police believed was used to smoke meth and a glass pipe with white residue. The pipe was tested presumptive positive for meth, but the test on the bong was inconclusive.
Police also found several new items in the trunk, which they believed were purchased recently with forged checks. The haul included a cordless drill set, angle grinder, three torque wrenches, two bags of clothing, 13 packs of cigarettes, small propane tanks and two seat covers.
At Brandt’s home, police found a digital scale with suspected meth residue and another check that appeared to be forged.
Brandt reportedly told police he worked with a partner that would steal mail from mailboxes near Union Hill. Brandt would drive while his partner would steal the mail, but after two thefts, Brandt said he didn’t want to do it anymore.
He reportedly said his partner would then heat the stolen checks until the ink came off and write them to different people’s names, including Brandt’s. The accused confessed to cashing and depositing several forged checks, as well as smoking meth, but maintained he did not write anything on the checks.