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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Nevada

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Arraignments Today For Two Men Charged With Using Counterfeit U.S. Postal Service Keys To Steal Mail

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The arraignments for two men charged with using counterfeit mail box keys to steal checks, credit cards, and other information from local mailboxes will be held at 3:00 p.m. today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carl W. Hoffman, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada.

John Douglas Gibson, 44, and Juan Carlos Rodriguez, 40, both of Las Vegas, are charged with one count of possession of counterfeit U.S. Postal Service keys, one count of possession of stolen mail, one count of theft of government money, one count of fraud and related activity in connection with access devices, and one count of aggravated identity theft.  If convicted, they face up to five years in prison on the stolen mail count and up to 10 years in prison on each other count, except for the aggravated identity theft count which carries a two year mandatory minimum penalty which must be served consecutively.  They also face fines of up to $250,000 on each count.

“Financial and personal identifying information stolen from the U.S. mail is commonly used to create counterfeit checks and credit cards and to assume the identity of the victims whose mail was stolen,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden.  “Be aware of any suspicious activity at your mailbox and report it to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service as soon as possible so that investigators can track it.”

According to the criminal complaint filed on May 8, 2015, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service had been investigating reports of extensive mail theft in the Henderson and Las Vegas areas. The reports indicated that someone was stealing all of the mail from individual and cluster mailboxes without causing any damage to the mailboxes.  Investigators determined that between Feb. 1 and May 7, defendants Gibson and Rodriguez were allegedly using counterfeit U.S. Postal Service mailbox keys to steal mail from secured mailboxes.  The criminal indictment specifically charges Gibson and Rodriguez with possessing stolen mail belonging to an individual who resided at La Suena Court in Henderson, stealing U.S. Treasury checks valued at more than $10,000, and fraudulently using Sam’s Club and Lowe’s hardware store credit cards.

Information concerning mail theft should be reported to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service online at https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/ or by telephone at 800-275-8777.

The case is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Gregory Damm.

“The charges were brought in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.  The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.  With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices, and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud.  Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets; and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations.  Since fiscal year 2009, the Justice Department has filed over 18,000 financial fraud cases against more than 25,000 defendants.  For more information on the task force, please visit www.StopFraud.gov.”

An indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Updated May 26, 2015