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 guilty. 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