An Augusta man who stole business checks from mailboxes, altered them and worked with others to cash them at area banks will spend four years in prison.

Ryan Pomerleau, 32, was also given three years of supervised release and ordered to pay nearly $88,000 in restitution by Judge John Woodcock Jr. on Monday in U.S. District Court in Bangor. Pomerleau had pleaded guilty in January to conspiring to steal mail and theft of mail after an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and police in Augusta, Portland, Saco and Scarborough.

He was charged in the theft ring in October when, an affidavit from U.S. Postal Inspector Michael Desrosiers said, the investigation began after Augusta police arrested William K. Seabron on burglary charges in July. Police recovered mail addressed to several businesses on Industrial Drive that Seabron had discarded in a dumpster at a motel where he lived.

Seabron told investigators that Pomerleau had used a typewriter to alter checks mailed from businesses to make Seabron the payee and then drove him to several Augusta banks, where the checks were cashed. He also said Pomerleau invited him to go “mail diving” to steal mail from post office collection boxes in Massachusetts, according to the affidavit.

Later, investigators executed a search warrant at a hotel room in Seabrook, New Hampshire, where Pomerleau lived, seizing counterfeit checks, typewriters and other evidence linking Pomerleau to the theft.

U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty’s office said in a news release that Pomerleau enlisted others to cash altered checks, but other potential co-conspirators haven’t been named in court documents.

Michael Shepherd — 370-7652

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Twitter: @mikeshepherdme