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Investigative Press Release
Category: Internal Mail Theft

Rochester mail carrier arrested, charged with theft and destruction of mail

ROCHESTER, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Marlene Cruz, 40, of Rochester, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with delay or destruction of mail and theft of mail matter by officer or employee. The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle P. Rossi, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, in January 2022, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) received complaints from individuals stating that their mail had been tampered with in late 2021. Subsequent investigation determined that Cruz, a full-time Mail Carrier, worked the mail route involving the complaints. Further investigation determined that between January 2022, and November 2023, Cruz routinely opened envelopes and parcels, removing items such as ticket stubs, documents, cash, lottery tickets, and gift cards, on dozens of occasions.

In May and November 2023, investigators conducted mail integrity tests, placing greeting cards containing cash and gift cards in the mail to be delivered by Cruz. On November 2, 2023, at the end of her shift, investigators detained Cruz and executed a warrant for her person and personal belongings. During the search, they recovered a gift card from one of the mail integrity test greeting cards inside Cruz’ personal duffle bag.

The complaint is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Matthew Modafferi, Special Agent-in-Charge Northeast Field Office.

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.