LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — Authorities say a Lake County postal worker has confessed to a months-long scheme to steal mail from residents in the Villages in search of money and gift cards.
According to the Department of Justice, 25-year-old Miranda Farleigh worked as a contracted mail carrier for the United States Postal Service, delivering mail for the Lady Lake Post Office.
According to court documents, Lady Lake’s Postmaster contacted authorities on November 23 after Farleigh’s parents, who were also postal service contractors, reported finding several tubs and bags of opened mail in her bedroom. They went on to find even more open mail in her car.
In all, authorities say they found approximately 4,000 pieces of “rifled” mail, nearly all of which consisted of outgoing mail containing holiday or greeting cards.
In an interview with investigators, Farleigh admitted to targeting mail with cards in them in search of cash or gift cards to feed her heroin addiction.
Farleigh said she specifically targeted the outgoing mail of residents in the Villages and even stole outgoing mail from nearby postal station mail rooms that weren’t on her route.
Farleigh said she’d been stealing and opening mail in Lake and Sumter Counties since approximately October.
U.S. Attorney Roger Handberg filed a complaint charging Farleigh with theft of mail matter by a postal employee.
If convicted, she faces a penalty of up to five years in federal prison.
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