DENVER – Guadalupe Joseph Huerta, age 35, of Pueblo, Colorado, was sentenced late last week to serve 21 months in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore for stealing mail from the back of a mail truck, U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer and U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge of the Denver Division Craig Goldberg announced.
After serving his prison sentence, Huerta was ordered to serve 3 years on supervised release. There was no order of restitution as law enforcement recovered mail before Huerta could leave the area. The defendant appeared at the sentencing hearing in custody and was remanded at its conclusion.
Huerta was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on June 6, 2017. He pled guilty on February 21, 2018, and was sentenced on May 23, 2018.
On April 25, 2017 at approximately 3:20 p.m., a Pueblo resident saw a man taking a bin of mail from the back of a Postal vehicle. The resident called her spouse, who notified the Pueblo Police Department. When a police officer arrived on scene, he observed the described male, the defendant, on his phone and standing with a bin of mail at his feet. When the officer exited his vehicle, the defendant took off running and dropped his jacket. A foot chase ensued and backup arrived. The defendant jumped fences, ran through a cemetery, and eventually ended up in a shed. When officers ordered the defendant out of the shed, he burst through the back of the shed and continued running. At some point, the defendant tried to use an appliance on the street to jump a six-foot privacy fence. He slipped and officers engaged in a physical struggle. The defendant eventually ended up on the ground, but had to be Tasered twice to be handcuffed. Shortly after, the resident positively identified the defendant as the person who had broken into the postal vehicle.
The black leather coat dropped on the ground by the defendant after seeing the police officer had a set of keys marked “US Mail”. It also had 6 items of mail, 7 checks totaling $33,218, and 2 credit cards among other items. In total, there were 100 victims.
“For more than 240 years, the United States Postal Service has worked to provide everyone in the United States with secure, efficient and affordable mail service,” said U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer. “Mail thieves like Huerta deprive us of this essential service. Thanks to an engaged community member, excellent law enforcement, and our prosecutors, even this mail got delivered.”
“The Postal Inspection Service applauds the efforts of our Colorado Springs Postal Inspectors and the Pueblo Police Department, as they worked together to apprehend a subject related to an obvious mail theft,” said Craig Goldberg, Inspector In Charge of the Denver Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. “Postal Inspectors are dedicated to protecting the mail from all those who seek to use or obtain mail for illegal purposes, and we will continue working with our law enforcement partners to identify and hold accountable those individuals who attempt to disrupt the safe delivery of the U.S. Mail,” said Goldberg.
This case was investigated by the Pueblo Police Department and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The defendant was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hetal J. Doshi.