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Former mail carrier gets probation after pleading guilty to stealing mail

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A former mail carrier in western New York avoided jail time after she accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to two years of probation, prosecutors said.

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Marlene Cruz, 40, of Rochester, pleaded guilty in January to theft of mail matter by officer or employee, according to a news release on Friday from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York.

Investigators said Cruz, who worked as a full-time mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, routinely opened envelopes and parcels between January 2022 and November 2023, WHAM-TV reported.

Prosecutors said that Cruz removed items from envelopes and packages including ticket stubs, documents, cash, lottery tickets and gift cards on “dozens of occasions.”

Cruz was arrested at the end of her shift on Nov. 2, 2023, according to WHAM.

The arrest followed a series of “mail integrity tests” that began in May 2023, prosecutors said. Investigators placed greeting cards containing cash and gift cards in the mail Cruz was scheduled to deliver, the news release stated.

On Nov. 2, investigators executed a search warrant and recovered a gift card from a personal duffel bag and arrested her, prosecutors said.

The investigation began after the U.S. Postal Service received a series of complaints from customers who said their mail had been tampered with in late 2021, according to the news release.