Bakersfield men sentenced for kidnap, robbery of postal worker

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -  United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii sentenced Bakersfield residents Raul Ojeda, 42, to eight years and one month in prison and Daniel Diaz, 26, to seven years in prison for planning and executing the kidnapping and robbery of a United States Postal Service contract employee, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
 
The defendants were also ordered to repay the $13,860 that they stole from the truck during the robbery. On November 13, 2012, Ojeda and Diaz each pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery of mail, money or other property of the United States
 
According to court documents, on October 16, 2009, Ojeda and Diaz 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. Ojeda used his knowledge of the postal route and of his former coworker to plan the robbery. Diaz 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.
 
In sentencing the defendants, Judge Ishii pointed out that the defendants targeted the victim specifically because of his age and compliant nature.
 
This case was 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 prosecuted the case.

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