CRIME

Family Speaks Out After Postal Worker Accused Of Destroying Green Cards

Aug 28, 2020, 7:31 PM | Updated: Sep 4, 2020, 1:40 pm

WEST JORDAN, Utah – A postal worker faced federal charges after prosecutors said the woman targeted dozens of immigration documents and purposefully destroyed them.

Federal prosecutors said they have identified nearly 200 victims in Utah and Nevada, but there may be many more.

A Tooele family told KSL-TV they were amongst the victims. The Castro family came to America legally from El Salvador in 2006.

“Our dreams are [for] our boys to live good in this country,” said Julio Castro.

However, he said their dreams were “lost” about three years ago.

In 2016, Julio and Rosa Castro and their two sons applied to renew their residency status – commonly known as green cards – which allows them to legally live and work in the United States. They paid $540 each for their application processing,

Then, Julio Castro said they waited for over a year to hear back – a process he expected would take nine months.

In December 2017, their son received a letter from the US Postal Service informing him that his green card was lost in the mail somewhere in Salt Lake City.

The note read: “Mailing was sent from Kansas City, MO, on 9/08 arriving in Salt Lake City UT on 9/09 and no other scans are posting. This mailing did not arrive at the Tooele, UT Post Office for delivery. All attempts have been made to locate this item without success. This mailing is lost.”

Thinking that maybe the same thing had happened to the rest of the family, they contacted the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), who told them they would need to start the process all over, and pay the application fee again.

In January 2020, the family said their son Diego got another letter. This time it was from the US Department of Justice. Federal prosecutors had a built a case against a postal worker, Diana Molyneux, of West Jordan, whom they suspected of destroying their mail.

U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson Melodie Rydalch said federal prosecutors identified and sent letters to 181 victims in Utah and Nevada. The Post Office Molyneux was employed at was in Salt Lake City, according to Rydalch.

Julio Castro said in his family, only one person was notified that the paperwork did not reach its final destination. He suspected there may be many more victims than those identified and counted by the DOJ.

In a January 2020 filing, court documents indicated Molyneux requested a new attorney, citing a conflict of interest with her then attorney, Carlos A. Garcia, because: “The Matter is about Immigration Mail being destroyed. This mail is about his family members, friends, relatives – people.”

Court filings also indicated Molyneux has had a long list of attorneys, six since 2019. Molyneux’s current attorney, Wendy Lewis, Federal Public Defender for the District of Utah, declined to provide commentary, saying the case remains active.

“I don’t know how she had the mind, or the heart [to do this],” Julio said.

While the Castro’s wait for their green cards to be reissued, Julio said coronavirus fallout has further pushed back his application.

Despite the challenges, they haven’t given up on their dreams.

“This country is a beautiful country. It has opportunity for everybody,” Castro said.

Molyneux faced two felony counts for delay or destruction of mail. Officials said the first incident was allegedly committed on or about August 21, 2018, and the second was on or about September 19, 2018.

The punishment for each count is a max sentence of five years in prison. According to Rydalch, Molyneux was never arrested but appeared on a summons and was released.

Rydalch said there were many victims who did not fill out requests for information provided in the letters. They are asking those who received notification and did not return it to contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

KSL-TV reached out to USCIS for information on how many victims they found to have been affected. We also requested information on whether a refund would be issued to victims or additional help in helping them recover lost immigration documents.

USCIS spokesperson Maria Elena Upson provided the following comment: “USCIS cannot comment on cases currently under investigation. Please contact the US Atty’s office.”

USPS Spokesperson Jeffrey Krafels confirmed to KSL-TV that Molyneux “entered on duty” with the USPS on November 22, 1986. Krafels was not able to provide information on whether other employees are under investigation, but provided the following information about the investigation conducted by special agents from the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General:

What is the role of OIG investigators?

OIG special agents assist the Postal Service by protecting the mail and helping to maintain the integrity of postal processes, finances, and personnel. These special agents are responsible for conducting investigations regarding mail theft by employees, injury compensation fraud, embezzlements and financial crimes, contract fraud, computer crimes, internal affairs, narcotics, employee misconduct, and whistleblower reprisals. As sworn federal law enforcement agents, OIG special agents have the power to serve warrants and subpoenas issued under the authority of the U.S., make arrests without warrant for postal-related offences committed in their presence, carry firearms, and make seizures of property as provided by law.

Who We Are

The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG), an independent agency within the Postal Service, maintains the integrity and accountability of America’s postal service, its revenue and assets, and its employees. The OIG reports to Congress and is under the general supervision of nine presidentially appointed governors. It has more than 1,100 auditors, investigators, and professional support personnel in 100 nationwide offices. The professional, hardworking men and women of the Postal Service OIG help make America’s postal system one of the government’s most trusted entities.

What is the mission of the Postal Service OIG?

The mission of the OIG is to ensure the efficiency, accountability, and integrity in the Postal Service, help maintain confidence in the postal system, and improve the Postal Service’s bottom line through independent audits and investigations. Audits of postal programs and operations help to determine whether the programs and operations are efficient and cost effective. Investigations help prevent and detect fraud, theft, and misconduct, and deter postal crimes. The OIG also keeps Postal Service Governors, Congress, Postal Service management, and other stakeholders informed of problems, deficiencies, and corresponding corrective actions.

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Family Speaks Out After Postal Worker Accused Of Destroying Green Cards