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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 7, 2019

Second Rochester Man Pleads Guilty To Stealing Mail

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Michael Harris, 31, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal mail before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson.  The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field, who is handling the case, stated that Harris was employed by a U.S. Postal Service contractor at the Greater Rochester International Airport. While performing his job, the defendant conspired with two other individuals, co-defendants Cordell James and Chansen Diaz, to steal gift cards and cash from the mail. The three men then used the stolen items to finance their lifestyles.

Chansen Diaz was previously convicted and is awaiting sentencing. Charges remain pending against Cordell James. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The plea is the result of a joint investigation by the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kenneth Cleevely, Eastern Area Field Office, Pittsburgh, PA, and Inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Boston Division Inspector-in-Charge Joseph W. Cronin.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 6, 2019, before U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer.

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Updated March 7, 2019