ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A Rochester mail carrier was arrested Thursday after multiple complaints of mail tampering, according to the United States Attorney’s Office. 

Prosecutors say Marlene Cruz, 40, of Rochester was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with delay or destruction of mail and theft of mail matter by officer or employee.

The United States Attorney’s Office said in January 2022, the U.S. Postal Service received complaints from individuals stating that their mail had been tampered with in late 2021.

Investigators determined that Cruz, a full-time mail carrier, worked the mail route involving the complaints. They say between January 2022, and November 2023, Cruz routinely opened envelopes and parcels, removing items such as ticket stubs, documents, cash, lottery tickets, and gift cards on dozens of occasions.

In May and November 2023, investigators conducted mail integrity tests, placing greeting cards containing cash and gift cards in the mail to be delivered by Cruz.

According to prosecutors, on November 2, 2023, at the end of her shift, investigators detained Cruz and executed a warrant for her person and personal belongings. During the search, they recovered a gift card from one of the mail integrity tests greeting cards inside Cruz’ personal duffle bag.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.