LUBBOCK (CBSDFW.COM) — Two contractors with the United States Postal Service have been charged with possession of stolen mail in Texas.

The investigation – which culminated in the recovery of more than 8,000 pieces of mail worth more than $4 million – marks the largest ever seizure of stolen mail in Northern District of Texas history.

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Joe Roy Rivas, III, 22, and Jessica Lynn Solomon, 35, have been indicted on one count of conspiracy to possess stolen mail and eight counts of possession of stolen mail.

Solomon was arrested in Slaton, Texas and made her initial appearance in federal court on Oct. 15; Rivas was also arrested in Slaton and made his initial appearance in federal court on November 1.

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According to the indictment, the pair worked in Lubbock and were former co-workers at Cargo Force, Inc., a company that contracts with the USPS to load mail in and out of air containers destined for flights to and from Lubbock International Airport.

During their shifts, the defendants allegedly sifted through mail looking for items containing cash, gift cards, checks, and money orders. They allegedly stole that mail and stashed it in 55-gallon trash bags at their homes. Among the checks they stole were a $25,728 check made payable to a telecom co-op, a $15,000 check to a consulting group, and a $241,1863 check to a facilities management and food services company.

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If convicted on all counts, they face up to 45 years in prison.

CBSDFW.com Staff