A former postal worker pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges he stole cash and gift cards on his postal routes in South Berwick and Eliot, prosecutors said.

Russell Joaquin opened and stole the contents from greeting cards between January and May 2023, the U.S. attorney’s office said. Joaquin, 48, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Portland and faces up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years of supervised release.

A federal district judge will determine the sentence after considering the U.S. sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

Joaquin’s ex-wife called police in May 2023 to report she found opened mail in his bedroom and then turned it over to police, according to court documents. The opened mail included four opened envelopes, with one containing a $50 gift card, according to an affidavit filed with the court.

Investigators said Joaquin told authorities he had been stealing greeting cards with cash since January 2023. Other opened mail provided by Joaquin included five greeting cards and gift cards.

He was placed on “off-duty status” without pay on May 4, 2023, the day police responded to his ex-wife’s call, according to the affidavit.

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