WALKER -- A substitute contract mail carrier accused of taking greeting cards and money from mail picked up between Laporte and Brainerd recently pleaded to felony theft.
Harry Lester Judd Jr., 56, Walker, entered his plea in Cass County District Court, reversing an earlier not guilty plea. Sentencing was set for Oct. 7.
Judd picked up mail from and delivered mail to post offices in each city between Laporte and Brainerd when the regular contract driver was not working. This included Saturdays, holidays and other vacation time.
U.S. postal inspectors investigated the case after Backus area residents reported greeting cards sent from that post office had failed to reach recipients.
Cards, often containing cash, were believed missing between December 2001 and March 2 this year, according to the complaint filed against Judd.
When stopped by an inspector March 2 at Brainerd, the complaint states the inspector recovered 93 greeting cards from Judd's truck cab. The inspector placed a value for cards, postage and money in the cards March 2 at $777.40.
The complaint states Judd told postal inspectors he had taken cash from cards over a period of time and burned those cards. If there was no cash or a check inside, he reportedly told inspectors he taped those cards shut and placed them back into the mail stream the following Saturday.
As a contract worker, Judd was not a U.S. Postal Service employee.
Cass court appearance
WALKER -- Brenda Kay Ornelas, 37, Remer, recently appeared in Cass County District Court. She received a stay of adjudication of sentence for wrongfully obtaining assistance, was ordered to serve 20 days jail and pay $2,811 restitution to Cass County Health and Human Services.
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