Former U.S. Postal Employee Convicted of Mail Theft

Apr 12, 2007, 01:00 ET from U.S. Attorney

    BOSTON, Mass., April 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A former Billerica
 U.S. Postal Employee/Acting Supervisor was convicted late yesterday in
 federal court of mail theft and aiding and abetting the receipt of stolen
 mail in connection with the theft of two Fender guitars from the post
 office where he worked.
     United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan and Peter Zegarac, Inspector
 in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in New England, announced
 that BRIAN L. TANGUAY, 24, of 24 Harold Avenue, Dracut, Massachusetts,
 pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge George A. O'Toole to a two-count
 Indictment, charging him with mail theft by a postal employee and aiding
 and abetting the receipt of stolen mail.
     At yesterday's plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that, had
 the case proceeded to trial, the Government's evidence would have proven
 that from his military duty station in Iraq, a member of the military
 mailed two parcels, each containing Fender guitars, to his residential
 address in Billerica, Massachusetts. The parcels were insured and scanned
 at arrival at the Billerica Post Office/Carrier Annex on November 10, 2005.
 The regular delivery carrier had attempted to deliver the parcels to the
 residential address, but was unsuccessful because no one answered the door
 at that address. The Letter Carrier left a notice at the residence advising
 that the packages could be picked up at the local Post Office. The Letter
 Carrier then left the parcels at the Billerica Carrier Annex to await
 transport to the local Billerica Post Office where customer pick-up service
 was provided.
     The following day, November 11, 2005, there was no transportation of
 packages to post offices and a skeleton crew was working because it was the
 Veteran's Day holiday. Acting Supervisor TANGUAY was among the few
 employees working on the holiday.
     The American Serviceman in Iraq had purchased the two guitars over the
 Internet while he was serving in Iraq. He received the guitars at his Army
 Post Office address in Iraq, and wrote on the back of each guitar, "I
 served in Iraq 04-05." When he finished his military obligations and was
 sent home to Billerica, MA; he mailed the two guitars along with three
 other packages, to his residential address in Billerica.
     On November 14, 2005, the Serviceman's mother went to the Billerica
 Post Office to pick up the parcels on his behalf, but only three of the
 five packages had arrived; the two guitar parcels were missing. After the
 Serviceman had arrived home in Billerica sometime in December 2005, he
 traveled to Daddy's Junky Music in Nashua, New Hampshire, to purchase
 replacement instruments for his stolen guitars. During this visit to
 Daddy's Junky Music, he discovered one of his stolen guitars on the display
 floor for sale; he recognized the guitar and his handwriting ("I served in
 Iraq 04-05"), which was still on the back of the guitar.
     The Serviceman filed an Incident Report with the local Police
 Department and the resulting investigation determined that the Assistant
 Manager at Daddy's Junky Music who buys and sells guitars on behalf of the
 store, purchased the two guitars that were later reported stolen. The
 Assistant Manager purchased the guitars on two separate occasions, and
 identified the seller as Greg Lavalle of Dracut, Massachusetts. According
 to the Assistant Manager, on November 12, 2005, Lavalle sold him the first
 guitar, a green Fender Stratocaster for $110. That guitar was later sold to
 a customer of Daddy's Junky Music. On December 16, 2005 Lavalle sold him
 the second guitar, a red Fender Telecaster, for $50.
     On March 1, 2006, when interviewed by Postal Inspectors, TANGUAY
 admitted that he had taken the guitars from the Billerica Post Office and
 gave them to Lavalle to sell in order to pay off a $300 debt for "pot" that
 TANGUAY owed Lavalle. Subsequently on March 6, 2006, TANGUAY resigned from
 the U.S. Postal Service.
     Judge O'Toole scheduled sentencing for July 19, 2007. TANGUAY faces up
 to 5 years imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release,
 and a $250,000 fine on each count of the indictment to which he pleaded
     Lavalle, 22, of 459 Arlington Street, Dracut, Massachusetts, has also
 been charged for his role in the theft and resale of the guitars. Those
 charges are still pending.
     The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, with
 the assistance of the Billerica Police Department. It is being prosecuted
 by Assistant U.S. Attorney Antoinette E.M. Leoney in Sullivan's Major
 Crimes Unit.

SOURCE U.S. Attorney