FRESNO, Calif. — Rene Garcia, 47, of Sanger, pleaded guilty today to stealing government property, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Garcia has been detained as a flight risk in federal custody since his arrest on August 18, 2014.
According to his plea agreement, on numerous occasions between September 2012 and March 2013, Garcia entered the parking lot of the U.S. Post Office in Selma and stole vehicle batteries out of the U.S. Mail trucks parked there. In all, Garcia stole a total of 57 vehicle batteries, which he subsequently sold. During at least one of the battery thefts, Garcia wore a mask to conceal his identity and used wire cutters to gain access through a fence surrounding the mail truck parking lot. The U.S. Postal Service lost more than $9,700 as a result of Garcia’s thefts.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Baker is prosecuting the case.
Garcia is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill on December 15, 2014. Garcia faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.