TEXAS: Two Lubbock postal contractors have been charged with possession of stolen mail, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Chad E. Meacham.
The investigation – which culminated in the recovery of more than 8,000 pieces of mail worth more than $4 million – marks the largest ever seizure of stolen mail in Northern District of Texas history.
Joe Roy Rivas, III, 22, and Jessica Lynn Solomon, 35, were indicted on Oct. 13 on one count of conspiracy to possess stolen mail and eight counts of possession of stolen mail. Ms. Solomon was arrested in Slaton, Texas the following day and made her initial appearance in federal court on Oct. 15; Mr. Rivas was arrested in Slaton on Oct. 27 and made his initial appearance in federal court yesterday afternoon.
According to the indictment, Mr. Rivas and Ms. Solomon were former co-workers at Cargo Force, Inc., a company that contracts with the United States Postal Service to load mail into and out of air containers destined for flights to and from the Lubbock International Airport.
During their shifts, the defendants allegedly sifted through mail looking for items containing cash, gift cards, checks, and money orders. They allegedly stole that mail and stashed it in 55-gallon trash bags at their residences. Among the checks they stole were a $25,728 check made payable to a telecom co-op, a $15,000 check to a consulting group, and a $241,1863 check to a facilities management and food services company.
An indictment is merely an allegation of criminal conduct, not evidence. Like all defendants, Mr. Rivas and Ms. Solomon are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
If convicted on all counts, they face up to 45 years in prison.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Slaton Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann Howey is prosecuting the case.