Friday, July 25, 2014
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California UPS delivery driver was arrested Friday for stealing dozens of shipped guns that were sold on the black market, federal prosecutors said.
Curtis Hays, 36, of Rancho Cucamonga, was taken into custody on a federal indictment filed Wednesday in federal court in Riverside.
A call to his attorney, Carlos Juarez, was not immediately returned.
In 2012, the delivery driver allegedly stole packages containing 72 weapons at the UPS shipping hub in Ontario, east of Los Angeles, according to the indictment.
The guns were bound for a Turner's Outdoorsman sporting goods store in Rancho Cucamonga and included .22-caliber rifles, .12-gauge shotguns and .22-caliber and .45-caliber pistols, authorities contended.
He also allegedly stole more than $7,000 worth of jewelry and some cellphones, prosecutors alleged.
Hays passed the guns on to a Moreno Valley man who sold them illegally, the indictment contended.
Some of the guns have been recovered, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles.
"Certainly it is not representative of the integrity of our organization and the performance of our drivers and we took swift action," said Susan Rosenberg, a spokeswoman at UPS Inc.'s Atlanta headquarters.
The company has been cooperating with federal investigators for more than two years and Hays was fired more than 1 ½ years ago, she said.
The indictment charges Hays and Dennis Dell White Jr., 35, with conspiracy; theft of firearms; receipt and possession of stolen firearms and theft, receipt, and possession of interstate and foreign shipments. They could face up to 10 years in federal prison if convicted on the weapons charges alone.
White is additionally charged with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.
White was not arrested but was expected to surrender later to face the charges, Mrozek said.
It was not immediately known whether he had an attorney and a phone number for him in Moreno Valley couldn't be located.