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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Albuquerque Man Sentenced for Conviction Arising Out of String of U.S. Post Offices Burglaries in Fall of 2015

ALBUQUERQUE – Ronnie D. Rael, 30, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court to 18 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release for his conviction on burglary and theft charges arising out of the burglaries of Albuquerque area post offices in Oct. and Nov. 2015.

Ronnie Rael and codefendant Venessa Rael, 48, also of Albuquerque, were arrested in Dec. 2015, on a criminal complaint charging them with burglary of a U.S. Post Office and theft of stolen mail.  According to the complaint, the Foothills and Academy Stations of the U.S. Postal Service in Albuquerque experienced several alarm activations in Oct. and Nov. 2015.  Surveillance video from those Post Offices revealed that Ronnie Rael and Venessa Rael removed large amounts of mail from the Post Offices when the alarms were activated.  The complaint charged Ronnie Rael and Venessa Rael with attempting to use credit cards stolen from the Post Offices in Nov. 2015.

Ronnie Rael and Venessa Rael were subsequently charged in a five-count indictment that was filed on Dec. 17, 2015. Counts 1 and 5 charged Ronnie Rael alone with theft of mail on Nov. 15, 2015 and with breaking into a Post Office on Nov. 26, 2015.  Counts 2, 3 and 4 charged Rael and his codefendant with fraudulently attempting to obtain money from the bank account of a person who had not authorized them to do so on Nov. 16, 2015; breaking into a Post Office on Nov. 17, 2015; and theft of mail on Nov. 17, 2015.

On Feb. 1, 2016, Ronnie Rael pled guilty to all five counts of the indictment without the benefit of a plea agreement.  Codefendant Venessa Rael pled guilty to Counts 2, 3 and 4 of the indictment on April 14, 2016.  At sentencing, Venessa Rael faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.  A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Mysliwiec.

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Updated May 3, 2016