Mar 9, 2010 8:04 PM by David Ortiviz

Pueblo postal workers prosecuted for mail theft

Three postal workers in Pueblo who were caught stealing money from mail are being punished. According to the USPS Office of Inspector General the employees have been prosecuted.

The Inspector General says on December 21, 2009 Nathan Valdez pled guilty to mail theft by an employee. Valdez is scheduled to be sentenced in March. The agency says Jerardo Robertson admitted to stealing gift cards from the mail. Robertson also awaits sentencing. Lastly, the OIG says Dale Tafoya admitted to stealing $4,731. Last month, Tafoya was sentenced to two years probation.

According to published newspaper reports, the workers allegedly stole gift cards and cash from the mail. Two of the workers were postal clerks, the other was a letter carrier. All three worked at the post office on Fortino Blvd. in Pueblo.

The Inspector General's office issued a written statement to News First 5. "This type of behavior within the USPS is not a common occurrence and it is an anomaly," said John Masters, an Assistant Special Agent. "The USPS OIG considers the theft of any mail by any US Postal Service employee to be a very serious issue. It is important for the public we serve to know the overwhelming majority of US Postal service employees are honest, hardworking and trustworthy individuals who would never consider engaging in any type of criminal behavior. When these types of allegations are made, the USPS OIG vigorously investigates those allegations, as we did in these instances," he added.

Al DeSarro, a spokesperson for the USPS says Tafoya retired before the criminal investigation was launched. Valdez and Robertson were placed on administrative leave without pay during the investigation. DeSarro says once it was completed, the employees were terminated. DeSarro says it would be extremely difficult for the ex-employees to be employed by the post office ever again.


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