Calif. postal worker accused of opening letters

January 7, 2009 1:32:32 PM PST
A U.S. Postal Service worker in Northern California has been charged with opening greeting cards to steal cash and other property. Prosecutors said Dean Hudson of Marysville was indicted Wednesday on 19 federal counts of mail theft and delay or destruction of mail by a postal employee.

Public defender Mary French says Hudson will plead not guilty.

Prosecutors say the 29-year-old postal worker was videotaped or observed opening cards from July to December while he was employed at a Postal Service processing and distribution center in Marysville.

The indictment alleges he stole $550 from 11 pieces of mail in addition to opening numerous other envelopes.

Each charge carries a maximum five-year prison term.