In late 2013, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service began receiving complaints from people who said they deposited mail at a postal station inside a Nampa grocery store but the letters either never reached the recipients or arrived with the contents removed.
Managers at the store, Paul’s Market at 407 12th Ave. Road, soon began hearing similar complaints and an investigation of clerk Roxane E. Meier ensued, according to federal court documents.
In July 2014, postal inspectors mailed an envelope containing a $50 Target gift card, depositing it at the store postal station at a time when Meier was working.
Two weeks later, Meier used the gift card to pay for purchases at an undisclosed Target store. At the same time, she redeemed a $25 gift card that she had removed from a different mailed envelope in June 2014.
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On Aug. 1, 2014, postal inspectors mailed additional envelopes from the contract postal station. Later that day, as Meier was preparing to leave work, the inspectors confronted her.
Meier told the inspectors that a U.S. Postal Service carrier had picked up all the mail deposited at the store station that day, according to a plea agreement in the case.
The inspectors later found 38 pieces of mail, including the items they had deposited that day, in a mail tray. The tray was hidden underneath a second tray that held mailing supplies for the station.
It’s unknown how many pieces of mail Meier, 52, stole during her time working at the store between late 2013 and August 2014. She was only charged with the thefts of the two Target gift cards that she cashed.
She pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to one count of mail theft. She was released on her own recognizance, pending sentencing on Dec. 8.
She faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.\
Earlier this month, Homedale resident Bobby E. Riley, 20, was arrested for allegedly stealing mail from boxes at the Homedale post office on at least four days between June and August. Riley, who was also charged in federal court with mail theft, has not entered a plea.