The day before Election Day, a Metro Police officer pulled over a pickup truck to find dozens of pieces of stolen mail, including a couple of absentee voting ballots, and methamphetamine, according to federal authorities.
Francisco Luis McArthur, 41, was charged Friday with counts of stolen mail and possession of unauthorized mail access cards, the office of the U.S. attorney for the district of Nevada announced Friday.
McArthur, a Las Vegas resident, admitted to using keys “to gain access to gated neighborhoods and community mailboxes,” officials said.
A Metro officer saw a white pickup truck cruising through several communities and exiting right away and pulled it over when noticing expired tags, according to a complaint.
Police found a box with about a hundred pieces of stolen mail, including the two ballots, stolen and counterfeit bank cards, a debit card encoder and a jar with methamphetamine, the complaint said.
Metro booked McArthur under “McArther” at the Clark County Detention Center on counts of possession of drugs and stolen bank cards, according to police logs.
McArthur told an agent with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service that he would steal from community mailboxes using USPS keys, noting that he would also go through dumpsters looking for important pieces of mail with “anything of value,” the complaint said.
It wasn’t clear how he obtained the USPS cards.
If convicted, McArthur, who has a lengthy criminal record in Clark County, faces up to 15 years in prison and $500,000 in fines, officials said.
“Theft of U.S. mail is a serious federal crime, particularly when it occurs just days before a general election,” said Nicholas Trutanich, district of Nevada’s U.S. attorney, in a news release. “Our office looks forward to continuing working closely with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to investigate and prosecute mail theft.”