Risk v. Reward: Prison and a Fine for $300

A former Postal Service employee has been convicted of mail theft after taking two guitars from a Postal Service facility to pay off a $300 debt. He could be sentenced up to 5 years in prison with a large fine.

A military service member in Iraq bought two guitars through the internet and then shipped them home to Massachusetts when he finished his tour. He wrote on both of them "I served in Iraq 04-05".

Unfortunately, the guitars never arrived. They were received by the Postal Service in a Massachusetts town but, when someone went to pick the up, the packages were missing. He went to Daddy’s Junky Music Store in Nashua, New Hampshire to buy guitars to replace the ones that were missing.

As luck would have it, he found the guitar he was looking for. It looked just like a guitar he had shipped back home. And, when he checked it out, he found out why. The writing on the back of the guitar read: "I served in Iraq 04-05".

He reported the incident to police. As it turns out, the guitars were in the Post Office on Veterans Day when few employees were in the office. One of the few employees present was Brian Tanguay. He was an acting supervisor that day and admitted to investigators he took the guitars while they were in the Postal Service facility. He sold them to pay off a $300 debt he had incurred from buying "pot".

According to the US Attorney’s Office, the now former Postal Employee/Acting Supervisor has now been convicted in federal court of mail theft and aiding and abetting the receipt of stolen mail.

Brian Tanguay is now facing up to 5 years imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine on each count of the indictment to which he pleaded guilty.