DENVER – Tayson Adam Hidalgo, age 22, of Sterling, Colorado, was arrested following the return of a one count indictment by a federal grand jury in Denver charging him with delay or destruction of mail, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General announced. Hidalgo appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge on October 20, 2016, where he was read his rights and advised of the charge pending against him. He was then released on a $5,000 unsecured bond. He is due next in court on October 25, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. for arraignment.
According to the indictment, returning on October 18, 2016, between October 3, 2014 and April 21, 2016, the defendant, a U.S. Postal Service officer and employee did unlawfully secret, destroy, detain, delay and open letters, post cards, packages, bags and mail entrusted to him and which came into his possession with the intention that he or any carrier deliver the mail to intended recipients.
If convicted of delay or destruction of mail, Hidalgo faces not more than 5 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine, plus restitution if applicable. The defendant is no longer an employee of the U.S. Postal Service.
Approximately 26,000 pieces of undelivered mail was located during this investigation. The recovered mail was addressed to residents within the city limits of Sterling, Colorado and several local postal routes in Fort Morgan, Colorado. Due to the large volume of recovered mail and its potential impact, a Town Hall Meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 7, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at Sterling Middle School, 1177 Pawnee Avenue, Sterling, Colorado 80751. Town Hall Meeting attendees will be briefed about the investigation, victim notification, and when the seized mail will be returned to its intended recipients.
If you believe you’re a victim of this crime, please visit the U.S. Attorney’s website atwww.justice.gov/usao-co for case updates which will be available starting Monday, October 24, 2016.
Executive Special Agent in Charge Joanne Yarbrough said, “The American public trusts that U.S. Postal Service employees will obey the law. When an employee of the Postal Service violates that trust, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG) thoroughly investigates those matters. This type of behavior within the Postal Service is not tolerated and the overwhelming majority of Postal Service employees, which serve the public, are honest, hardworking, and trustworthy individuals who would never consider engaging in any type of criminal behavior. The USPS OIG appreciates the partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in holding accountable anyone responsible for such violations.”
This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General and the Sterling Police Department. The defendant is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason St. Julien.
The charge contained in the indictment is an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.