EVERETT, Wash. -

Three men have been sentenced in Everett to prison terms for an identity theft ring that took nearly half a million dollars from about 500 victims.

The defendants say drug addictions fueled mail thefts and forgeries as they took over victim credit accounts.

The Daily Herald reports the three who were sentenced Wednesday all were working without serious criminal records until a few years ago.

A 34-year-old Navy veteran, David J. King of Lake Stevens, was sentenced to more than five years. A 32-year-old University of Washington economics graduate, Vikram Chorpa, of Renton was sentenced to seven years. And 31-year-old Shawn Shulze of Everett was giving a nine-year sentence because he had a previous identity theft conviction.