Phony Letter to Employer Lands Inmate in More Trouble

By Holly Kellum

An inmate in a Florida county prison tried to keep his job at an ice manufacturer by getting his girlfriend to send his employer a letter saying he would be working with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the sheriff’s office says.

The poorly spelled and punctuated letter said he would be working with the Sheriff’s office “ATF investigation unit” for six months or less.

What made the sheriff’s department slap Marco Sullivan, 32, and his girlfriend Martisha Wilson, 46, with charges of criminal use of personal identification, is that the letter was written on Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd’s letterhead.

Judd told reporters at a news conference Aug. 11 that Sullivan, who was incarcerated on unrelated charges, first convinced his girlfriend to text his boss at Reddy Ice where he worked to say that he had the flu.

When he didn’t get out of jail as soon as he thought he would, Judd said, she called the supervisor and told him that Sullivan was working with the sheriff’s department on an investigation and wouldn’t be at work for a while.

The supervisor asked her for a letter from the agent he was working with if he wanted to keep his job, and she emailed him a letter that’s signed by a “Mike Singleton” at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Sullivan’s boss wasn’t fooled by the letter, largely because of the its poor spelling and syntax.

“Do to the severity of the case Im not able to enclosed no farther information,” read the letter.

(Polk County Sheriff’s Office)

Reddy Ice called the sheriff’s office on Aug. 3 to ask if the letter had been sent by them, which they confirmed it hadn’t.

They also confirmed there was no Mike Singleton at the department.

“Oh, and by the way, maybe you should use a functional unit that we have. We don’t have an ATF investigation unit,” Judd said to reporters.

When asked if he was flattered that they chose his letterhead to send to Sullivan’s employer, Judd said: “I appreciate that they gave me a little humor this week with dummying up a Polk County Sheriff’s letterhead.

“It just lightens my day, because you look at this, and it’s like, ‘Come on girl, everybody knows that you gotta spell correctly. Google it.'”

Martisha Wilson. (Polk County Sheriff's Office)
Martisha Wilson. (Polk County Sheriff’s Office)

There is a warrant out for Wilson’s arrest over the forged letter.

Both Wilson and Sullivan have extensive criminal records, according to the sheriff’s department. Sullivan has been convicted of 23 felonies and 11 misdemeanors, and has spent 10 years in state prison.

Wilson has been convicted of 18 felonies and 10 misdemeanors, and has spent three years in state prison.

Sullivan is doing time for driving on a suspended license, resisting a law enforcement officer, and fleeing to elude.

Wilson was last seen in the Orlando area, according to Judd, and asked for the public’s help in locating her.

He said Wilson’s appearance has changed significantly over time, as has the name she uses.

He showed three pictures of her in different years, all of which look markedly different.

A press release from the Polk County sheriff’s office said that Sullivan introduced her to his supervisor at Reddy Ice as “Shanell,” and later called her “Lisa” Wilson when investigators questioned him about the letter.

He told investigators at first that he had conspired with Wilson to create a phony letter to his employer, but that he didn’t tell her to use the Polk County Sheriff’s letterhead, or to use the name Mike Singleton.

After being given his Miranda rights, the Sheriff’s office said, Sullivan said he would not tell on the person who wrote the letter.

“If you want to charge someone, charge me. It was my idea. I will take all the charges,” Sullivan reportedly told investigators.


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