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Former Medford postal worker pleads guilty to stealing mailed holiday cards

A former U.S. Postal Service worker has admitted to intercepting dozens of pieces of mail that passed through Medford during last year’s holiday season and pocketing gift cards and other valuables inside.

James Scott Thomas, 48, pleaded guilty Monday to a felony charge of mail theft in U.S. District Court in Medford.

Thomas worked in Medford between December 2019 and January 2021, according to the plea agreement filed earlier this week.

Around December of last year, Thomas “intentionally deprived approximately 100 owners of mail items passing through Medford ... by removing those mail items from circulation,” according to the plea agreement. He would then convert the “money, gift cards and other valuables inside ... for his own use and benefit.”

State and regional spokespeople with the U.S. Postal Service referred questions to the USPS Office of Inspector General, which declined to comment because it’s still working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the pending criminal case.

What’s known, according to the Monday court filing, is that Postal Service investigators first interviewed Thomas a week before Christmas about the stolen mail items.

During the Dec. 18 interview, investigators searched Thomas’ backpack and found an additional “seven greeting cards, five gift cards and empty gift card wrappers.”

As terms of the plea agreement negotiated between Assistant U.S. Attorney John Brassell and Assistant Federal Public Defender Devin Huseby, representing Thomas, each side will each seek a sentence of two years probation.

In exchange, Thomas will be ordered to pay full restitution for each victim. The plea agreement does not list a dollar amount, but court records show that Thomas won’t be sentenced until Feb. 1 in U.S. District Court.

Jackson County Circuit Court records show that Thomas pleaded guilty in 2012 to a felony charge of tampering with drug records surrounding a false prescription for hydrocodone in 2011. The conviction was dismissed in 2013 after Thomas complied with terms of a conditional discharge program.

Reach web editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTwebeditor.