News and Press Releases

Postal worker pleads guilty to stealing mail

February 8, 2011

ALBUQUERQUE – This morning, Albuquerque resident Cedric Lara, 45, pled guilty to theft of U.S. mail before Chief United States Magistrate Judge Richard L. Puglisi under a plea agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office. Specifically, Lara entered a guilty plea to count 2 of a three-count indictment charging him with theft of U.S. mail. At sentencing, Lara faces up to five years imprisonment and up to three years supervised release. Lara remains released under pretrial supervision pending sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled.

United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that, on December 1, 2010, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Lara with stealing Target gift cards that had been placed in the U.S. mail on three separate occasions between September 23, 2008 and October 19, 2008. At the time of the offenses charged in the indictment, Lara was a contract truck driver for the United States Postal Service and was responsible for delivering incoming mail from the Main Post Office in Albuquerque to the Pino Station in the mornings and delivering outgoing mail from the Pino Station to the Main Post Office in the afternoons.

In his plea agreement, Lara admitted that, on September 23, 2008, he fraudulent possessed a $50.00 Target gift card that he knew had been stolen from the mail. He also admitted that, on October 3, 2008, he fraudulently possessed two Target gift cards, with an aggregate value of $150.00, that he knew had been stolen from the mail. Finally, Lara admitted that on October 19, 2008, he fraudulently possessed a $100.00 Target gift card that he knew had been stolen from the mail. Lara and his fiancee (now his wife) used the gift cards to make purchases at a Target store in Albuquerque. As part of his plea agreement, Lara will pay full restitution to the original purchasers of the four Target gift cards.

This case was investigated by the United States Postal Service, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Cynthia L. Weisman.

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