LUBBOCK, Texas — A Lubbock man faced a federal jury yesterday for the first time since he has been arrested for stealing over 8,000 pieces of mail.
22-year-old Joe Roy Rivas III and 35-year-old Jessica Lynn Solomon were indicted last month on one count of conspiracy to possess stolen mail and eight counts of possession of stolen mail.
If convicted on all counts, Rivas and Solomon could face up to 45 years in prison.
The two worked for Cargo Force when they stole more than $4 million worth of checks, gift cards, cash, money orders and more.
“Every piece of mail is protected by federal statute and theft of a single piece of mail could result in imprisonment, [up to] five years federal prison as well as substantial fines,” said a United States Postal Service Inspector, Paul Ecker.
He said he sees crimes like this happen every year, which is why there are over 200 federal statutes relating to these kinds of crimes.
“When you think about the fact that the United States Postal Service delivers half of the world’s mail, it’s a staggering thought,” Ecker said. “We just want to remind folks that there will be incidents [of mail theft], but we’re going to investigate them with everything we have.”
Cargo Force contracts with and provides services to the USPS, like loading and unloading mail from air carriers. The company told KLBK News that all employees go through a 10-year background check as well as a drug screening before starting.
Cargo Force said that they are fully cooperating with authorities and assisting in any way they can.