(Phoenix, Ariz. – June 4, 2009) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced that Christopher Richard Breiland, 39, of Phoenix, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, lifetime probation and lifetime registration as a sex offender.
In February, Breiland pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, one count of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of aggravated taking the identity of another.
In March 2006, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service responded to mail theft allegations in Scottsdale. An investigation by the agency revealed that Breiland was running an identity theft scheme that included mail theft, counterfeit checks, fraudulently obtained credit cards and printing counterfeit Arizona drivers’ licenses. It is believed that Breiland’s schemes resulted in approximately $130,000 in fraudulent financial transactions.
When Postal Inspectors executed a search warrant at Breiland’s residence in April 2006, they found computers, printers used to make drivers’ licenses and documents containing identity theft victims’ personal identifying information. All were believed to further Breiland’s identity theft scheme.
While executing the search warrant, Postal Inspectors also discovered printed images of children engaged in sexually explicit acts and a hand-written list of child pornography Web sites. Subsequent forensic analysis of the seized computers revealed hundreds of images of children engaged in sexually explicit acts.
“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is committed to ensuring the safety and security of the Postal Service and its customers,” said Phoenix Division Postal Inspector in Charge Pete Zegarac. “The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has a long history of working to identify and bring to justice those individuals who sexually exploit children.”
Breiland was arrested in Scottsdale in May 2007. Upon his arrest, Postal Inspectors discovered an encrypted laptop that contained additional child pornography videos and images as well as another hand-written list of child pornography Web sites.
In addition to these charges, Breiland has been convicted of 11 other felonies since 1987. At the time of his April 2006 arrest, he was wanted for escape after breaking out of a DOC facility in Florence. At the time of his May 2007 arrest, Breiland was wanted for absconding from bail in Pinal County.
Co-defendant Marie Siegal, 44, of Phoenix, was Breiland’s girlfriend and was living with him at the time of his 2006 arrest. In January, she pleaded guilty to both attempted forgery in connection with identity theft and attempted sexual exploitation of a minor in connection with her possession of the child pornography as well as a handwritten list of child pornography Web sites.
Two other co-defendants, Heather Lynn McCaslin (also known as Heather Lynn Maestas), 36, of Mesa, and Larue Smith, 46, of Mesa, received probation terms for their involvement in the identity theft scheme.
Assistant Attorney General Todd Lawson prosecuted this case. A copy of the sentencing memorandum is attached.
For additional information, contact Anne Hilby at (602) 725-2200.