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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

Monday, June 23, 2014

Former Bakersfield Resident Sentenced To Prison For Theft Of Mail In Bakersfield And Wasco

FRESNO, Calif. — Mayra Alejandra Soria, 30, of Los Angeles, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. to four years and nine months in prison and $13,735 in restitution for conspiracy to steal mail and one count of possession of stolen access devices, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, Soria was indicted with four co-defendants in May 2013 as part of Operation Broken Mailbox, the United States Postal Inspection Service’s ongoing effort to work with local law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute stolen mail offenses. She is the last to be sentenced in the case.

According to court documents, from March 17, 2013 until May 21, 2013, Soria and others conspired to steal mail in Wasco and elsewhere in the Bakersfield area, in order to steal checks and commit identity theft. As part of the conspiracy, they used homemade devices to “fish” mail out of U.S. mail collection boxes at post offices. After stealing the mail, they looked for third party information and financial instruments, including checks and money orders that they could cash. The defendants then altered and negotiated the stolen checks – sometimes by depositing them into accounts they had opened in the names of the identity theft victims. In total, Soria and her co-defendants stole checks and other items valued at more than $120,000.

This case was the product of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service with assistance from the Kern County Sherriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Megan A. S. Richards prosecuted the case.

San Francisco Division Inspector in Charge Rafael Nunez of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service stated “we are working closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our partners in law enforcement to arrest and prosecute those responsible for mail theft to protect postal customer’s mail from theft.”

The other defendants received the following sentences: Eric Alberto Herrera, 27, of Los Angeles: two years in prison; Elisee Torres-Pacheco, 36, of Los Angeles: three years of probation; Brisa Castillo, 33, of Los Angeles: five months in prison; Mateo Manuel Santiago, 25, of Bakersfield: one year in prison.

Press Release Number: 
Docket #: 1:13-cr-219 LJO
Updated April 8, 2015