An arrest on northbound Interstate 95 for a car weaving erratically between lanes resulted in the discovery of over $100,000 in stolen business checks from the Hanover Air Park and other area locations. Lareese Martlelles Mallety, 24, has been charged with federal offenses of theft and receipt of stolen mail in addition to charges for possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. Hanover Air Park and other business parks in the area have been targeted multiple times over the years due to the ease of access to a number of large mail receptacles. Any checks have their name and address of the payee changed so that the person responsible can walk into any bank and cash the check.
Mallety allegedly told authorities that this was his second or third trip to Virginia, where mail was stolen from curbside mailboxes with no security features. According to the police reports, Mallety was the passenger in the vehicle when it was stopped on the interstate earlier last month. Police reported a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle, and when they checked the rental car, they found the stolen checks from the Hanover Air Park. Additionally, police found a duffel bag containing a typewriter, extra ribbon, and business checks in U.S. Mail envelopes from around the Richmond area along with a handgun and ammunition.
After the search, the driver of the vehicle fled on foot and has still not been apprehended. Mallety was arrested after a short struggle with police. He maintains that the firearm found in the vehicle is not his, and he is being held at the Southside Regional Jail awaiting a court date.
Federal Receipt of Stolen Mail
Federal law makes it a crime to steal, take, abstract, or fraudulently obtain any items from the mail, post office, letter box, mail receptacle, route, or other depository of any posted item in the mail. The penalties under federal law for the theft or receipt of stolen mail include significant fines and up to five years in prison for each charge. Conviction under federal law also comes with additional penalties of the loss of the right to vote, hold public office, and possess a firearm. In order to be convicted of mail theft it is not required to show that there was a use of force because the use of fraud, deception, or embezzlement are all included within the codified definition of the crime. If you have been charged with a federal offense for the theft or receipt of mail it is imperative that you contact a federal criminal defense attorney right away to represent you and begin building the best defense for your case.
Our Attorney Can Help
Check theft may not seem like a serious offense, but the federal government takes accusations of mail theft very seriously. If you have been charged with federal crimes for mail theft or receipt in the Richmond area, our office is here to help. Call or contact Del Rio Law to schedule a review of your case with an experienced federal criminal defense attorney today.