Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Houston Mailman Doesn’t Always Deliver

I have always thought that postal carriers have a fascinating job. Just like digging through someone’s trash or going through one’s medicine cabinet (neither of which I advise you do), you can learn a lot about people from the mail they receive. Catalogs for the newest electronic devices, repeated notices from credit card companies, magazines wrapped in the always mysterious brown paper … all of these items tell you about the person to whom that mailbox belongs. One mailman’s interest in his deliveries went beyond casual curiosity, and now he faces jail time.

Lorenzo Moreno, Jr., a former postal carrier from Houston, Texas faces up to five years in federal prison after investigators discovered that he stole more than 3000 pieces of mail from those on his route. Apparently, a suspicious pattern of people not receiving their gift cards and DVDs developed last year and an internal investigation ensued. Moreno pled guilty to charges of mail theft and will discover his sentence in September.

There is an entire agency, the United States Postal Investigation Service, which is dedicated to the protection and security of our mail service. One of the roles of the USPIS is to enforce US Code Title 18, 1709 which states, in part,

Whoever, being a Postal Service officer or employee, embezzles any letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail, or any article or thing contained therein entrusted to him or which comes into his possession intended to be conveyed by mail … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

I wonder if Mr. Moreno realized the potential consequences he faced when he decided to steal a copy of Lord of the Rings or a Talbot’s gift card for his personal use. If you find yourself facing federal charges of any kind, please understand that your situation is very serious. Please feel free to contact us at Bertolino LLP and let’s talk about how we can help.

No comments: