Two indicted in separate cases of mail theft in Bakersfield

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment today against Keyvan Asari, 43, charging him with theft of U.S. mail.

According to court documents, Asari knowingly possessed checks in February and March of 2013 that he knew had been stolen from the mail.

In a separate case in January, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Christine Marie Fritzler, 44, of Kerman, for theft of U.S. mail. According to the five-count indictment, Fritzler stole mail from collection boxes at Bakersfield post offices on 2525 East Brundage Lane and 3200 Larson Lane on several occasions between June and August 2013. Fritzler’s next court appearance is on March 17, 2014.

San Francisco Division Inspector in Charge Rafael Nunez of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service stated, “We are working closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our partners in law enforcement to arrest and prosecute those responsible for mail theft and to protect postal customer’s mail from theft.”

Both cases are the product of investigations by the United States Postal Inspection Service, and are part of Operation Mailbox, an ongoing effort to work with local law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute stolen mail offenses.

To date, Operation Broken Mailbox has resulted in at least 22 arrests, 33 searches, the recovery of 10 counterfeit or stolen postal keys, and the identification of more than 2,100 victims and nearly $400,000 in losses. Assistant United States Attorney Megan A. S. Richards is prosecuting the cases.

If convicted, Asari and Fritzler each face a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison on each count and a $100,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would 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. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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