Authorities: FedEx Workers Stuffed Their Own Stockings

Two men at a Hutchins delivery facility allegedly took about $50,000 in cell phones and other Christmas gifts during the fall of 2018.

After they received a tip from another manager, officers obtained a warrant and watched two employees. Allegedly, 47-year-old Larry Poole and 58-year-old Wade Hal were caught on tape unpacking boxes and stuffing the goods into backpacks. During a subsequent search, authorities discovered ninety-four cell phones and an Apple Watch with a collective value of more than $48,000.

These two men supposedly paid manager Anthony Edison and security guard Ricky Lacy $100 per week to “turn a blind eye.” These individuals were charged with conspiracy.

Criminal Conspiracy Charges

If your co-conspirators split fifty grand, an extra c-note in your pocket is not exactly an even partnership. But even exchange is not one of the elements of Texas Penal Code 15.02. In these cases, prosecutors only need establish:

·       Agreement: The agreement obviously need not be written. It’s also not necessary for the agreement to be detailed. Everyone does not have to know everything about the crime. Instead, prosecutors need only show that the defendant intended to commit “a felony.”

·       Overt Act: This element is broadly defined as well. The overt act can be something legal. For example, if two people agree to rob a bank, buying ski masks could be an overt act.

Prosecutors often bring conspiracy charges against people who were peripherally involved in the matter to “teach them a lesson.” These prosecutions are also common if authorities cannot find anything better to bring.

Conspiracy charges are difficult to defend, mostly because the Penal Code expressly bars some of the better defenses. That includes defenses like the case’s co-conspirators were lackeys with no authority and no crime was actually committed (e.g. everyone got cold feet). These defenses are viable in some other states.

The maximum punishment for a conspiracy charge is one level below the actual crime. So, a conspiracy to commit a Class 2 felony is a Class 3 felony.

Defenses to Theft Cases

Theft cases, on the other hand, are a little easier to defend. Delay is very frustrating for criminal defendants, but delay may be a defense attorney’s best friend in these cases.

After a year or more, memories fade and people move. The faded memory aspect may not be a big deal, because witnesses can use police reports written at the time to refresh their memory. But if the witness moves more than 150 miles away from the court, prosecutors lose their subpoena power. That could be a very big deal, because a year or more after the offense, many witnesses have lost interest in the case.

That loss of interest is especially common if they were not very interested in the first place. Theft case charging documents often name a security guard or store manger as the owner of goods. It’s easier to identify these people. But if prosecutors produce a different complaining witness at trial than the one listed in the charging instruments, the judge may throw the case out of court on a technicality.

Criminal charges can happen to anyone at any time. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Fort Worth, contact Herreth Law. We routinely handle matters in Tarrant County and nearby jurisdictions.