3 years' probation in mail theft case

PROBATION: Eugene Jerome Taitague walks out of the District Court of Guam on Monday. The former ramp agent was sentenced to three years probation in a mail theft case. Nick Delgado/ The Guam Daily Post

A former ramp and cargo agent accused of stealing while on the job was sentenced to three years of probation in the District Court of Guam on Monday.

Eugene Jerome Taitague pleaded guilty in September 2018 to possession of stolen mail.

He faced up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

"I just wanted to apologize for what I've done. I'm just really sorry for everything," said Taitague, as he addressed Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood during his sentencing hearing. "I wanted to apologize to Postal and to all the people who worked hard for their mail."

Both the U.S. Attorney's Office and defense attorney Thomas Fisher agreed on the three-year probation term. Taitague was not ordered to pay any fines.

But, he and his co-defendant will have to pay the $3,329.99 in restitution owed to the companies impacted as part of the agreement.

"It affects the integrity of the mail system," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Leon Guerrero.

"He did a stupid thing and he apologized for it," said attorney Fisher. "He certainly learned his lesson ... that he must obey the law."

Taitague was ordered to write an apology to his former employer.

Mail theft

On March 19, 2018, U.S. Postal Service Inspection Service met with the defendant at the Guam Customs office regarding the thefts.

He was employed as a ramp agent by Micronesian Air Cargo and in charge of loading cargo onto flights between Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands at that time.

Taitague admitted the thefts occurred while he worked as a cargo agent for Unlimited Services Group, Aviation Service International Group and Menzies Avaition. Early on in his employment, he admitted his co-worker, who was identified in court documents as "George," gave him a stolen generator valued at $1,200.

He said he knew it was stolen from the mail but gave it to a family member.

Taitague said he also purchased a laptop computer valued at $429 and Visio TV valued at $239 from his co-worker. He knew the TV was stolen, as well.

He admitted his co-worker regularly stole boxes of vape juice from the mail, court documents state.

Taitague received 100 bottle of vape juice valued at $2,000, which he knew was stolen, documents state.

He also got a pair of sneakers valued at $39.99 from a co-worker identified in court documents as "Deneb."

According to Post files, Deneb Loy Palagnas Dacasin was sentenced to two years' probation in April of this year for cashing a stolen money order while employed as a cargo worker for Unlimited Services Group assigned to the United Cargo facility in Tiyan.