Ward, AR postal worker pleads guilty to mail theft charge
A former postal worker accused of stealing from mail sent through the Ward Post Office pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to one count of mail theft for which she could be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison.
Audra DeVito, 40, of Cabot, was indicted in September 2021 by a federal grand jury in Little Rock on 10 counts of theft of mail in connection with a series of thefts that occurred over a two-month period between Oct. 26 and Dec. 23 of 2020, according to the indictment against her. DeVito was working as a part-time flexible clerk at the post office in Ward, which gave her access to the post office box section. The indictment said that Devito took money and gift cards intended for 10 different recipients during that time period that totaled $1,231.10.
The thefts ranged from $11.10 to $500 that the indictment alleged DeVito converted to her own personal use.
DeVito, who has been free on bond since her arraignment, arrived in the courtroom accompanied by her attorney, Christophe Tarver with the Federal Public Defenders Office in Little Rock. U.S. District Judge Kristine G. Baker explained DeVito’s trial rights that she would surrender by pleading guilty and advised her of the advisory sentencing guidelines, cautioning her that any prediction of what range the guidelines might indicate would be “at best an educated guess at this point.”
Baker warned DeVito that when she is sentenced, if her guideline sentencing range turns out to be higher than expected, “it’s highly unlikely I will let you withdraw your guilty plea.”