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
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
SOURCE U.S. Attorney