Bakersfield men plead guilty to kidnapping, robbery of postal employee

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Raul Ojeda, 42, and Daniel Diaz, 26, both of Bakersfield, pleaded guilty today to aggravated robbery of mail, money and other United States property, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
 
According to court documents, both defendants admitted that on October 16, 2009, they carried out a plan to kidnap and rob the driver of a U.S. Postal Service truck while he was performing his duties in Taft. Diaz admitted that he entered the cab of the truck while it was stopped at a stop sign and forced the driver to go to a nearby abandoned hospital. Once there, Diaz ordered the victim to tie himself up and ordered him to cooperate if he did not want to be killed. Diaz then used the victim’s keys to open the rear compartment of the truck and stole approximately seven mail bags containing U.S. mail and bank deposits, including cash. The defendants admitted to taking a total of $12,711 U.S. currency and $1,149.34 in checks during the robbery.
 
This case is the product of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, Taft Police Department and Bakersfield Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elana Landau is prosecuting the case.
 
The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on February 4, 2013. They face up to 25 years in federal prison. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

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