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Postal worker accused of taking money from greeting cards

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Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 5:05 am

McALLEN — Federal authorities arrested a postal worker accused of stealing money from people’s mail.

Jose Mario Cavazos, a postal employee at the McAllen processing and distribution center, was arrested early Tuesday morning at his workplace during a sting operation by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.

Later that morning, Cavazos was taken before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Ormsby, who ordered he be held without bond pending a detention hearing set for today.

Postal inspectors began looking into Cavazos in April when they received an anonymous tip that he was opening mail and stealing money from greeting cards while he worked sorting mail, court records show.

As the investigation continued, the postmaster in Lyford reported that several envelopes with greeting cards had been opened from the side and the mail had come from the McAllen sorting center. Postal employees from Weslaco also made similar claims, which were documented with photographs and statements from customers — one of whom reported that he was missing $200 and another was missing $60 from greeting cards sent to them.

On June 13, a postal inspector set up a surveillance operation and saw Cavazos removing contents from several greeting cards that were being sent to Weslaco and stuffing the money in his clothes, records show.

On Monday, postal inspectors set up a sting operation in which they used dye packs in envelopes that Cavazos might open, court records show, and when he opened one of them — addressed to “Mijo” and containing a $2 bill — the dye stained his hands.

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