Dominican man gets 18 months on charges
CONCORD – Ariel Mendoza, 27, a citizen of Dominican Republic, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for stealing items of mail and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, U.S. Attorney Scott Murray said.
According to court documents, from November 2017 to March 2018, several residents of Salem and Manchester, New Hampshire, and Lawrence, Massachusetts, reported to their local police departments that they had used public mailboxes near their homes to mail personal checks or money orders that were not delivered to the intended recipients. On Nov. 26, 2017, a video surveillance camera near a public mailbox in front of the U.S. Post Office in Salem, New Hampshire, captured images of Mendoza and another person as they stole items from the mailbox.
In addition, from November 2017 to May 2018, Mendoza and three other people knowingly deposited checks and money orders totaling more than $27,000 that were stolen from the mailboxes. After each deposit, Mendoza and his co-conspirators used debit cards assigned to the accounts to make cash withdrawals at ATMs and to purchase merchandise from retail businesses.
Mendoza pleaded guilty to the offenses on Dec. 13. He faces likely deportation to the Dominican Republic after serving his prison sentence.
“Citizens should be able to trust that their mail is safe,” Murray said. “Those who steal from the U.S. mail should be aware that they face arrest and the possible imposition of prison time. We will work closely with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute those who commit financial crimes that harm the citizens of the Granite State.”
“The cooperation and hard work of our fellow law enforcement agencies illustrates the common mission of protecting our citizens and preserving the integrity of the U.S. Mail. Financial crimes such as these can have long lasting impacts for the victims,” added Inspector in Charge Joseph W. Cronin of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Boston Division.