7 postal workers charged in RI mail theft ring

7 postal workers charged in RI mail theft ring


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

ORIGINAL NOTE: https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/providence/arrests-made-in-ri-mail-theft-ring/

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

U.S. Attorney Zachary Cunha announced the arrests Wednesday afternoon, alongside special agents from the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.

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 Corliss Street facility handles roughly 3.5 million pieces of mail every day, according to Cunha.

Investigators allege that from March 2023 through February 2024, those who worked as mail sorters would pull certain envelopes out of the stream, 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.

It’s currently unclear how much was stolen in total, but Cunha indicated there were “massive” losses. He said at one point, 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 investigation is ongoing.

Anyone who had mail go missing during that time period is asked to call the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General hotline at 1-888-USPS-OIG (1-888-877-7644), email hotline@uspsoig.gov, 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.”

Watch the full news conference below.