Crime & Courts

Members of Anchorage mail-theft ring get up to 6 years’ prison time

Sentencing for six members of an Anchorage theft ring that stole checks and credit cards from mailboxes to raise money and exchange drugs concluded this week, the U.S. attorney's office said Friday.

Sara James, 31, was sentenced Thursday to 3 1/2 years in prison. David Gonzales, 37, was sentenced this week to six years. Charges against both included bank fraud and aggravated identify theft.

The illegal activity occurred from August 2016 to May 2017. James and her husband, Jonathan James, worked with Gonzalez and others to steal mail and pass stolen checks. They used stolen IDs in the scheme.

[6 charged with stealing checks from Anchorage mail and vehicles.]

Others sentenced in recent months, on charges involving at least conspiracy and bank fraud, are:

Jonathan James, 34, to two years in prison.

Brandon Madrid, 29, to 2 1/2 years in prison.


Braden Asbury, 21, to one day in prison, a sentence that involves credit for time already served.

Karri Embach, 35, to time already served.

The six sentences include five years of supervised release.

Alex DeMarban

Alex DeMarban is a longtime Alaska journalist who covers business, the oil and gas industries and general assignments. Reach him at 907-257-4317 or