A man who has spent a good share of his life stealing and selling expensive motor homes throughout the United States is going for another ride – this time to federal prison for more than five years.
Ronald Bruce Myers, 46, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Spokane on Tuesday to 66 months in prison for stealing a $360,000 motor home he attempted to sell last summer to a dealer in Spokane Valley.
When the dealer became suspicious of a low sale price, he contacted Washington State Patrol detectives who made the arrest in conjunction with the FBI.
Myers, who initially told detectives his name was Richard Curtis, earlier pleaded guilty to a federal charge of interstate transportation of a stolen motor vehicle worth more than $200,000.
He also pleaded guilty to possession of implements for counterfeiting.
As part of a plea agreement, four other federal charges he faced were dismissed.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Durkin said Myers is a “master counterfeiter” who would forge identities, state vehicle registrations and titles, traveler’s checks and U.S. currency. “He literally has used thousands of aliases,” the federal prosecutor said.
“He would steal a motor home, clone the Vehicle Identification Number, secure a legitimate title, usually in another state, and then sell the vehicle, generally to dealers or someone who had cash,” the federal prosecutor said.
FBI agents who tracked Myers believe he would take the cash from the sales of the stolen motor homes and buy gold coins or bullion, Durkin said.
“We still don’t know where a lot of the money on the previous deals went,” Durkin said.
Myers, convicted in Georgia in 1986 of stealing motor homes worth a combined total of $1.5 million, remained in prison until 1997. Shortly after his release, he was convicted in 1998 of stealing a $100,000 motor home in Mississippi.
When he got out of prison on Feb. 4, 2004, he again began stealing and selling “at least four luxurious motor homes” with a total value exceeding $800,000, Durkin said.
Leroy Martin Bullinger, 51, who was arrested with Myers last August in Spokane Valley, was sentenced to 10 months in prison for concealing a felony.
“He and Myers have been known associates for at least 20 years,” Durkin said. They were first convicted together in 1982 in Placer County, Calif., for breaking into a motor home.
Judge Fred Van Sickle sentenced Myers to 60 months on the interstate theft count and re-imposed 24 months of an earlier federal sentence. Six months of that earlier sentence must be served consecutively to the 60-month term.
Since his arrest, Myers has refused to confirm his real name and invoked the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination at various court hearings.
Finally, after an extensive nationwide investigation by the FBI, Myers’ parents were located in Las Vegas and subpoenaed to testify at Tuesday’s sentencing hearing.
Shortly before his parents, both in the mid-70s, were scheduled to testify, Myers admitted his true identity to the court.
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