Local man gets 14 years in prison in mail theft case

A Rough and Ready man was sentenced Thursday in federal court to 14 years in prison.

United States District Judge Troy Nunley sentenced Jasen Lynn Dushane, 38, for possession of stolen U.S. mail, possession of stolen credit cards with intent to defraud and aggravated identity theft.

Dushane had been found guilty after a five-day trial of a crime spree that ended in a car chase involving a Nevada County sheriff’s deputy.

In sentencing, Nunley characterized Dushane’s criminal history as extensive and said that he was “a crime spree waiting to happen.”

Dushane previously had been sentenced to four years in prison in Nevada County Superior Court in October 2011 on charges stemming from the incident in June of that year, when Dushane and Manda Lynn Wentzloff, 35, of Nevada City, were arrested after a car chase in a stolen Lexus.

Wentzloff pleaded no contest to two counts of first-degree residential burglary and one count of forgery. Dushane pleaded no contest to two counts of residential burglary and one count of reckless evasion in return for the stipulated four-year prison sentence. He was to serve his Nevada County prison sentence concurrently with a four- to 10-year prison term in Nevada.

Both defendants also faced federal mail theft charges.

According to testimony presented at trial, at approximately 2:25 a.m., June 5, 2011, a Nevada County sheriff’s deputy initiated a traffic stop on a gold Lexus sedan in Penn Valley after confirming that it had been reported stolen.

Although the driver initially complied, he restarted the engine and drove off. A vehicle chase ensued for nearly 1.5 miles down the “muddy, rutted, washed-out” Black Forest Road. The two occupants of the Lexus fled from the vehicle but not before the driver threw the Lexus into reverse, sending it backward toward the deputy and ultimately rolling it down an embankment.

Law enforcement officers were unable to find the male driver, but they found Wentzloff hiding in some nearby brush; she identified the driver as Dushane.

Wentzloff told deputies that Dushane had hacked the email account of the owners of a Nevada City home they had burglarized — the owners of the Lexus — and obtained their credit card information, which he used to order and purchase a police scanner from Radio Shack in Grass Valley. She said they arrived at the store after it closed and that Dushane probably would go back to pick it up; he was arrested later that day at the store.

Wentzloff reportedly said she and Dushane had been stealing mail and other items from mailboxes and a residence in and around Nevada County.

She said they had stolen a BMW vehicle and that it was parked outside their motel room in Reno.

Deputies searched the hotel room, the Lexus and the BMW and found bags, folders and other containers full of mail.

Officers also found photocopies of credit cards and various official identification documents, credit cards, opened bank and credit card statements and personal checks. In total, more than 1,000 pieces of stolen mail were recovered.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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The Union Updated May 5, 2014 04:08PM Published May 2, 2014 11:30PM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.