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After finding out about some missing birthday cards, investigators in Louisiana set a trap to find out where they were going. What they found was a postal employee who was stealing the cards, and more, out of the mail.

The investigation started in October of 2020 in Bogalusa, when the local Postmaster found out about the missing cards. The Postmaster was also reportedly alerted to an employee who was seen forcing mail into his pants.

After these details came to light, the United States Post Office's Office of Inspector General was notified. They proceeded to set up an operation, with a trap, to see if they could catch the suspect.

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The "trap" involved a package with a card, and $200 inside. According to court records, that package was opened by 51-year-old Patrick Ezell, a postal employee. Prosecutors say that after Ezell took the money, he used part of the money to purchase cigarettes.

Authorities say that Ezell didn't just take the "bait" package, he was responsible for stealing hundreds of birthday cards, and hundreds of dollars. The packages were being sent through the post office he worked in, and belonged to people that were on his postal route.

This week, Ezell plead guilty to Embezzling The Mail, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000 or the greater of twice the gross gain to the defendant or twice the gross loss to the victim, per offense.

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