Two men accused of stealing checks and other items from mailboxes across town say they're not guilty. Today the men went before a judge to make their plea and News 3's Marissa Mike was in court when it happened.
LAS VEGAS – Two men accused of stealing checks, credit cards and other items from local mailboxes using counterfeit U.S. Postal Service keys, are scheduled to be arraigned by a federal magistrate judge Thursday afternoon, announced Daniel G. Bogden, U.S. attorney for the District of Nevada.
Derrick F. Hutson, 42, and Marshal R. Stapleton, 27, both of Las Vegas, are scheduled to appear at 3 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert A. McQuaid, Jr. They are charged with conspiracy, possession of stolen mail and unauthorized possession of counterfeit U.S. Postal Service keys.
According to the criminal complaint dated April 23, U.S. Postal Service employees recently received reports of several incidents of mail theft in the Summerlin and northwest areas of Las Vegas. The reports indicated that entire contents of mailboxes had been removed from cluster-type mailboxes, but that no damage had occurred to the mailboxes indicating the use of a counterfeit key.
Following an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Hutson and Stapleton were apprehended on April 15 at approximately 2:20 a.m. while they were sitting in a vehicle parked next to a cluster mail box in a Summerlin-area community.
Postal Inspectors recovered from the vehicle counterfeit U.S. Postal Service keys and burglary tools. Postal Inspectors later recovered from their homes, stolen U.S. Postal Service mailbox locks and parts, counterfeit keys, counterfeit identity documents, credit card manufacturing devices, check software, and stolen mail.
The criminal indictment charges that between January and April 23, Hutson and Stapleton made and possessed counterfeit U.S. Post Office keys which they used to steal checks, gift cards, debit cards, credit cards, and other items from mailboxes in Las Vegas.
If convicted, Hutson and Stapleton face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy and stolen mail charges and up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the counterfeit key charges. They are currently in federal custody pending their arraignment Thursday.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Pugh.
The announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.
-- From news release