Scottsdale postal worker charged with mail theft

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The following is a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office:

PHOENIX -- A federal grand jury in Phoenix returned a 4-count indictment against Richard Allen Jones, 44, of Cave Creek, Ariz., for Theft of Mail by a Postal Employee. The indictment alleges that from July 2007 through March 2008, Jones served as a mail carrier assigned to the Kachina Station in Scottsdale, Ariz. The indictment also alleges that while serving as a mail carrier he would sort mail and steal letters containing gift cards.

According to the indictment, Jones used the stolen gift cards to purchase items for himself. During a search of his home, agents found over 100 stolen gift cards and pieces of mail. Jones has been summoned to make his initial appearance in federal court.

A conviction for Theft of Mail by a Postal Employee carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both. In determining an actual sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Mary H. Murguia will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

The indictment was returned by a federal grand jury on August 20, 2008. An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.