US Coins

Texas postal employee sentenced for coin thefts

This stolen 1845 Dahlonega Mint Liberty Head $5 half eagle helped investigators track down a Texas coin theft suspect.

Images courtesy of Universal Coin & Bullion.

The United States Department of Justice announced the sentencing of a Texas postal employee who pleaded guilty to charges of theft of mail by a postal employee. Pamela Jo Rosas of Beaumont received a sentence of 37 months in federal prison from U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone on March 4, 2024.

According to information presented in court, postal inspectors in April, 2020, began receiving complaints that a series of parcels containing valuable coins were missing after being placed in the post office for delivery. Federal agents conducted surveillance and identified a postal employee, Pamela Jo Rosas, as a subject involved in the theft after viewing her handling packages in a suspicious manner. Rosas was also found in possession of several pieces of stolen mail packages after leaving work. Rosas admitted to stealing many items from the post office during the previous three to four years. Agents were able to recover hundreds of valuable coins from her apartment, along with other items Rosas had stolen from the mail during the course of her employment.

Prior to the sentencing, Rosas was permitted the opportunity to retire from the post office. During the sentencing, Judge Crone was taken aback by the action. “I am also concerned that she (Rosas) is receiving retirement from the Post Office. The taxpayers probably really don’t want to pay that. Retirement seems a little generous for someone who has been stealing from the post office for years and years.”

In a post-sentencing statement, Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell James commented, “I think the thing that stings the most about this case is that you have a public servant, somebody who’s entrusted with mail for people of personal matters, businesses in this case. And, you know, some of the other stuff we couldn’t really value and that public servant, kind of, took advantage of the system and stole items that were entrusted to her as part of her official duties. It’s disheartening, coming from a public servant, myself.”

In addition to the imprisonment period, Rosas has been ordered to serve three years of supervised release and pay restitution of $179,271.15. The judge recommended to the Bureau of Prisons that the defendant receive appropriate mental health treatment while in prison.

Sequence of events

Universal Coin & Bullion based in Beaumont was among the victims of the theft. “We experienced more than $400,000 in lost or stolen coin shipments over the course of a year. When challenged, local post office representatives repeatedly assured us the packages were being stolen after they left their distribution facility here. However, the thefts were happening at the local post office,” said Michael Fuljenz, President of Universal Coin & Bullion.

“Had it not been for Numismatic Guaranty Company, former Texas Police Chief Doug Davis, founder of the Numismatic Crime Information Center, and Oz Fong, a dedicated investigator with the U.S.P.S. Office of Inspector General, we may have never discovered what was really happening to our shipments,” stated Fuljenz. “We filed reports with various law enforcement agencies, including the U.S.P.S. Office of Inspector General, listed all of the coins as ‘stolen or missing,’ and reported them to NCIC. From there, Davis worked with NGC to ensure the coins were entered into their database.”

It was a local purchase that led to the unraveling of the case. A customer made the purchase of an 1845-D Liberty Head $5 half eagle and checked the NGC database after the purchase. The coin, valued at $14,000, was listed as stolen. The business had purchased the coin from Christopher Rosas, the now-deceased son of Pamela Rosas. Christopher Rosas had sold coins and other items to the business on numerous occasions.

Investigators turned their attention to Pamela Rosas, and packages containing tracking devices were found in Rosas’ possession by investigators. A search of her home found numerous stolen items.

Criminal proceedings began on Nov. 2, 2022, with a one-count indictment against Pamela Rosas, alleging a violation of 18 U.S. Code 1709 (theft of mail matter by officer or employee) in the United States District Court for the State of Texas, Beaumont Division. A plea hearing was held on Feb. 16, 2023, and Rosas, represented by attorney David Barlow, entered a plea of guilty. Under the plea agreement, Rosas would be sentenced to imprisonment between 21 and 40 months, pay restitution and forfeit property.

Praise for cooperation

During the sentencing, Fuljenz issued a statement to the court, emphasizing the importance of ongoing efforts to prevent crimes like these from impacting businesses and the hobby. “These types of issues have been close to my heart for over 40 years,” he stated. “My company, as well as several other companies I supply, had several hundred thousand dollars worth of coins stolen by the defendant. The thefts resulted in significant losses for us and our insurance carrier. It also adversely affected our relationship with many customers who lost confidence in our ability to ship products to them. We were also forced to discontinue shipping with USPS and utilize far more expensive and less reliable shipping alternatives.

“I, my team and others spent countless hours over two years working to uncover the source of the thefts and present useful information to the USPS and the Office of Inspector General. When we determined the thefts were most likely taking place at our local post office, we worked closely with the Office of Inspector General agent Oz Fong in the investigation. Thank you Mr. Fong.”

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