10/4/18 ROCHESTER, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Chansen R. Diaz, 30, Cordell L. James, 28, and Michael R. Harris, 31, all of Rochester, NY, were arrested and charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy and theft of mail. The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, defendants Diaz and James were employed by a terminal handling services contractor to the United States Postal Service, located at the Rochester Airport. The contractor was responsible for receiving and loading U.S. Mail onto airplanes for further delivery. While on the job, Diaz and James stole mail entrusted to the care of their employer, including numerous gift cards and credit cards. The complaint states that Diaz was observed rifling and opening mail, while James acted as his “look out.” The scheme began in approximately August 2018.
James resided with defendant Harris in Rochester. Records obtained from online retailers showed that Harris ordered multiple items from online accounts in his name, and that those items were delivered to Harris and James at their residence. In addition, video surveillance obtained from local retailers showed Diaz and Harris shopping together and making purchases using stolen gift and credit cards.
The defendants made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson and were released pending further proceedings.
If you believe you have been a victim of mail theft, please contact the U.S. Postal Service. Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG), at www.uspsoig.gov or 888-USPS-OIG.
The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kenneth Cleevely, Eastern Area Field Office, Pittsburgh, PA, the United States Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector-in-Charge Joseph Cronin, Boston Division, and the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Eric Laughton.
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.
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