LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Two postal contractors accused of stealing more than 8,000 pieces of mail worth more than $4 million have been charged in West Texas with possession of stolen mail, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
A federal grand jury in Lubbock indicted Joe Roy Rivas III, 22, and Jessica Lynn Solomon, 35, on Oct. 13 after federal agents seized the mail found in the contractors’ possession, according to a statement issued by federal prosecutors.
The mail seizure was the largest in the history of the 100-county Northern District of Texas, the statement said.
The two defendants are former employees of a company that processes for the U.S. Postal Service containers of mail sent on and received from flights operating at Lubbock International Airport, according to the indictment.
The indictment accused Rivas and Solomon of sifting for items containing cash, gift cards, checks and money orders while employed as contractors. They stole that mail and stashed it in 55-gallon trash bags at their residences, the indictment alleged.
Among the checks they stole were a $25,728 check made payable to a telecom co-op, a $15,000 check to a consulting group and a $241,1863 check to a facilities management and food services company, prosecutors alleged. It’s unclear from the indictment when the alleged theft started and how long it took place.
Rivas remained in Lubbock County Jail on Tuesday, but Solomon was free on bond. The two are each charged with one count of conspiracy to possess stolen mail and eight counts of possession of stolen mail. If convicted on all counts, they would face up to 45 years in prison.
Messages to their defense attorneys seeking comment on their behalf were not immediately returned.