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Nov. 16, 2010

SECOND HOUSTON MAN CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF MAIL STOLEN FROM COLLECTION BOXES

(HOUSTON) – A second man has been charged with possession of mail stolen from collection boxes in and around the Houston area, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. 

Morgan Pratka, 27, of Houston, charged in a sealed criminal complaint with possession of stolen mail, surrendered to United States Postal Inspectors on Monday, Nov. 15, 2010. Pratka appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances H. Stacy today. The issue of bond will be addressed at a detention hearing scheduled for Friday, Nov. 19.

The criminal complaint filed on Nov. 3, 2010, was unsealed following Pratka’s arrest and alleges that money orders stolen from postal collection boxes outside nine U.S. Post Offices in the Houston area during the past several months by unknown suspects have been traced to Pratka’s bank account.   

Pratka is the second person charged with possession of mail stolen from Houston area U.S. Post Office collection boxes. The first person charged, Rhett Stringer, was indicted in October 2010. He remains in federal custody without bond pending trial. 

The offense of possession of stolen mail carries a maximum punishment range, upon conviction, of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

The ongoing investigation leading to the charges against Pratka was conducted by inspectors of the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney F. Andino Reynal is prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

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