EL PASO, Texas - A total of 17 people have been arrested in connection with a massive mail theft ring investigation.
El Paso Police said in a news release Tuesday morning that officers arrested Phillip Biagas, 48 and Joseph Howe, 34, on Feb. 8 and Feb 9, respectively.
Both men were booked into the El Paso county jail on several charges, including engaging in organized criminal activity and forgery. Their bonds combined for a total of $100,000.
Fifteen people were already arrested in connection with the case, which was brought to the public's attention on Feb. 5. The investigation began in December 2016 after the EPPD Financial Crimes Unit noticed an increase in cases of stolen mail from at residential and community mailboxes in Northeast El Paso.
Police have said the suspects used the stolen documents to commit fraud against the victims and financial institutions.
Police said 37 victims have been identified.
ABC-7 obtained court documents that state the mail theft ring targeted a Baptist church, in addition to mailboxes throughout the city.