PHOENIX (Lawfuel) – A federal grand jury in Phoenix returned a five count indictment against Michael James Hamberger, 30 and Michelle Lynnae Pruett, 21, both of Flagstaff, Ariz., for Conspiracy to Commit Theft of Mail and Possession of Stolen Mail. The five count indictment alleges that Hamberger and Pruett stole U.S. Mail containing personal checks and financial instruments from numerous locations in and around Flagstaff from February 13 through March 14, 2008. The indictment further alleges that they cashed the stolen checks made payable to themselves for personal financial gain.
Both Hamberger and Pruett are currently in custody in Coconino County Jail on unrelated state charges and will be taken into federal custody upon release from the state.
A conviction for the Possession of Stolen U.S. Mail carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both on each of the five counts. In determining an actual sentence, the assigned U.S. District Court Judge will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
The indictment was returned on Tuesday, May 27, 2008. An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investing preceding the indictment was conducted by the Flagstaff Office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service with assistance from Flagstaff and Williams, Ariz. Police Departments. The prosecution is being handled by Richard I. Mesh, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.