Stolen ID used for 30 years nets Covington man 5 years' prison
A Covington man, who used stolen ID for 30 years, was sentenced to prison.
Seattle Times staff reporter
A Covington man who lived under a stolen identity for more than 30 years — committing an assortment of crimes and even racking up prison sentences under his false name — was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Seattle Friday to nearly five years in prison.
Curtis Tyrone Wudtee, 62, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman to 57 months in prison for misuse of a Social Security number, aggravated identity theft and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Wudtee pleaded guilty to those charges last year.
U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said Wudtee had lived since 1977 under the identity of a man whose wallet he stole during a bar fight in Baltimore.
Crimes he committed under the alias included the armed robbery of a service station in 1979, unlawful display of a firearm in 1994, and domestic violence and unlawful possession of a firearm in 2005. Even as he was prosecuted and sentenced for those offenses, his true identity was not discovered.
The victim of the identity theft — identified by prosecutors only by the initials M.L.S. — apparently was unaware that Wudtee was using his name.
Wudtee's actual identity came to light in an investigation that began in January 2010, after the real M.L.S. applied for a learner's driving permit in New York.
A computer check by the New York agency indicated that a Washington state ID had been issued under his name, and he was instructed to bring in his Washington ID to complete his driving-permit application.
Since the real M.L.S. had never visited Washington state, he informed authorities about the apparent ID theft.
Ultimately, investigators with a search warrant went to Wudtee's home and found four firearms, one of which was stolen. Because of his previous felonies, Wudtee is prohibited from possessing firearms.
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