USPS workers in Rhode Island charged in mail theft ring; authorities estimate losses to be ‘massive’

USPS workers in Rhode Island charged in mail theft ring; authorities estimate losses to be ‘massive’

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Federal investigators have broken up a “well-organized and wide-ranging conspiracy” to steal valuables from the mail in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, they announced Wednesday.

The alleged conspiracy involved a supervisor and six other workers at the U.S. Postal Service processing and distribution center in Providence, Rhode Island, which handles all incoming and outgoing mail for Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.

The facility handles roughly 3.5 million pieces of mail every day, according to U.S. Attorney Zachary Cunha, who, alongside special agents from the USPS Office of Inspector General, announced the arrests of the seven suspects.

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Investigators allege that from March 2023 through February 2024, the accused workers would pull certain envelopes out of the stream while sorting mail, then smuggle them out of the facility in backpacks. The group would later meet up to divide the take.

As an example, Cunha said that during the holiday season, the suspects would target brightly colored envelopes that may have contained cash, checks or gift cards.

USPS sorting box on display at announcement of mail theft arrests (Photo: Shiina LoSciuto/WPRI-TV)

U.S. Postal Service processing and distribution center in Providence (Photo: Alexandra Leslie/WPRI-TV)

It’s currently unclear how much was stolen in total, but Cunha indicated there were “massive” losses. In one instance, he said, one of the suspects was caught with a backpack stuffed with business envelopes containing approximately $1.3 million worth of checks.

“I would emphasize that these thefts were not isolated occurrences,” Cunha said. “Surveillance conducted during the investigation showed multiple members of the conspiracy engaged in taking, setting aside and then smuggling stolen mail out from the facility on any given day.”

The following people have been charged with theft of mail by a postal employee and conspiracy:

Cyril Murray, 44, of Pawtucket (supervisor)

Darren Camacho, 30, of Providence

Fernando Camacho, 28, of Providence

Willie Estrella, 31, of Providence

Ryan Lee, 43, of Cranston

Angel Rivera, 27, of Providence

Andre Williams, 31, of North Providence

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone in Rhode Island our southeastern Massachusetts who believes their mail went missing between March 2023 and February 2024 is urged to call the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General hotline at 1-888-USPS-OIG (1-888-877-7644), email, or file a claim online.

While cash and gift cards are typically spent immediately in these cases and will likely not be recoverable, Cunha said any information that’s provided can help their investigation.

“Today’s charges should make clear: this kind of public corruption will not be tolerated,” he added. “Postal employees who help themselves to valuables that they are entrusted to deliver safely to their destinations will be held to account.”

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