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Press Release

Bakersfield Woman Sentenced to 7.5 Years in Prison for Possession of Stolen Mail and Possession of Methamphetamine with the Intent to Distribute

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

FRESNO, Calif. — Erin Elizabeth Peterson, 41, of Bakersfield, was sentenced Monday to seven and a half years in prison for possession of stolen U.S. mail and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced. Peterson was also ordered to pay $92,908 in restitution.

According to court documents, from July to December 2017, Peterson made fraudulent transactions at various retail establishments in Bakersfield using credit and debit cards stolen from the mail. Peterson was identified from photographs obtained from the stores where the stolen cards were used. On December 28, 2017, a federal search warrant was executed at Peterson’s residence and 428 pieces of stolen mail, 31 stolen credit/debit cards, over a hundred personal and business checks and a counterfeit arrow key used to access U.S. community mailboxes were found. Also located in the residence were approximately 140 grams of methamphetamine, $1,400 in cash, drug packaging material, and a digital scale.

Peterson admitted that she had been stealing mail for approximately one year, usually from mailboxes in Bakersfield wherever her counterfeit arrow key would work. Peterson admits that she primarily looked for mail that contained debit or credit cards. When presented with multiple photographs of a female suspect seen shopping at various stores in Bakersfield using stolen debit and credit cards, Peterson admitted that she was in fact that person.

Peterson also admitted that the methamphetamine in her residence was hers and that she sold crystal methamphetamine to help support her habit. Peterson admitted that she obtained about a quarter pound of crystal methamphetamine a week and sold ounces for $200.

This case was the product of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Bakersfield Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian K. Delaney prosecuted the case.

Updated April 9, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 1:18-cr-132