Postal Worker Sentenced To 2 Years Probation After Pleading Guilty To Stealing Mail

A Rochester, New York, woman has been sentenced to two years probation after she was convicted of stealing items from mail that she was supposed to be delivering on her route as a mail carrier.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of New York announced that 40-year-old Marlene Cruz was convicted of theft of mail matter by officer or employee, and was sentenced to serve two years probation by U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa. She avoided jail time although she faced a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine after she pleaded guilty in January.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle P. Rossi, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) received complaints from local residents in January 2022 regarding their mail being tampered with in late 2021. After some investigation, officials determined that Cruz was the carrier on the route of the various complainants. Upon further investigation, it was determined that Cruz regularly opened envelopes and packages between January 2022 and November 2023. When doing so, she took items like “ticket stubs, documents, cash, lottery tickets, and gift cards, on dozens of occasions.”

After discovering her misdeeds, investigators conducted mail integrity tests by placing cash and gift cards within greeting cards in the mail to be delivered by Cruz in May and November 2023. After her shift ended on Nov. 2, 2023, investigators brought Cruz in and executed a warrant for her and her personal belongings. They found a gift card planted in one of the mail integrity test greeting cards inside her duffle bag.

The Miami Herald reported that Cruz was seen going through 90 pieces of mail on 38 separate occasions, according to affidavits. Prosecutors said that she opened envelopes, tore them up, and either threw them out of her vehicle or resealed and delivered them.

Cruz pleaded guilty to theft of mail matter by officer or employee, before Siragusa in January.

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