A former Postal Service employee pled guilty in federal court to stealing mail from a post office in Tangipahoa Parish, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Harold Saintes Jr., 52, of Franklin, pled guilty to a single count of Theft of Mail on Tuesday. He faces a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment and up to three years of supervised release, plus a $250,000 fine, the federal prosecutor's office said in a press release. 

While an employee of the Post Office in Loranger, a town of about 7,000 just northeast of Hammond, Saintes took $380 worth of wrongly-sent parcels between Sept. 1, 2019 and Oct. 19, 2019, he admitted in court filings.

An investigator from the U.S. Postal Service's Office of the Inspector General found that Saintes was opening up packages in his office, discarding the packaging and taking their contents home in his personal vehicle. 

He was having financial troubles and needed the money, Saintes admitted in an interview with the investigative office, according to an admission filed in federal court and signed by Saintes.

His sentencing is scheduled for January 4, 2022.

James Finn writes for The Advocate as a Report For America corps member. Email him at or follow him on Twitter @RJamesFinn.

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