7-year sentence follows Everett man’s apology for I.D. theft

The legally blind man with the walking cane was one voice for the many who were wronged.

The retired businessman and drywall contractor wouldn’t call the defendant in the green and white jail jumpsuit an evil man, but said what he did most surely was.

Del Varney’s bank statement ended up in the hands of a longtime identity thief who drained money from his account.

The sense of violation still stings, said Varney, a cheerful man who last year took a job as a Salvation Army bell ringer during the holidays.

“For an old man, it has really been a hardship on me,” he said.

Last week, Varney, 79, appeared in a Snohomish County Superior Courtroom to share his story.

Jamie Dinkins apologized to him. The Everett man accepted.

If he so chooses, Dinkins, 39, will have plenty of time to think about his misdeeds. He was part of a stolen-mail and counterfeit check-cashing ring. He pleaded guilty to 13 counts of identity theft and one count of forgery.

Judge George Bowden sentenced the Monroe man to seven years in prison. That is the maximum under the state’s sentencing guidelines for someone with the defendant’s prolific criminal history, which dates back 20 years.

Dinkins hadn’t been out of prison for long before he went back to his old ways in May 2015.

“For six months the defendant relentlessly stole money and financed his life by manipulating account and identification information,” Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Teresa Cox wrote in her sentencing recommendation.

He stole from businesses and people. Some, such as Varney, were particularly vulnerable.

Checks were cashed on the accounts of a man who had died. The Marysville School District also took a hit.

Everett police detective Jamie French, who had helped put Dinkins behind bars a few years earlier, recognized the defendant in video surveillance taken from local businesses last year.

“In all, Dinkins has passed at least 74 checks that have totalled over $50,500 in Snohomish County,” French wrote in a probable cause statement that accompanied his arrest.

Police and prosecutors believe the actual losses based on uncharged crimes to be much higher.

The defendant’s attorney asked the judge to consider a sentencing alternative so Dinkins could spend part of his time in prison and part in the community where he would be closely monitored and helped for substance abuse.

“Because Mr. Dinkins will have the opportunity to make these mistakes again, the court should do what it can to ensure Jamie makes good decisions in the future,” defense attorney Braden Pence wrote. “Sobriety is the key.”

Judge Bowden, who once oversaw drug court, rejected the possibility of an alternate sentence in Dinkins’s case. The defendant twice before failed when given the chance.

Addiction is one thing; hurting others is another.

“I just don’t have any sympathy although I wish you well,” the judge said.


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