An Augusta woman has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Bangor to a charge of stealing mail while being employed by the U.S. Postal Service.

Court papers say Amanda K. Wentzell, 26, started working as a retail clerk in February 2016 at the Temple post office.

A complaint by a Temple resident that his son had not received a prepaid debit card the resident had sent triggered an investigation by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and the USPS Office of the Inspector General.

When she was interviewed by Detective Frank Charles of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Wentzell admitted the theft as well as seven separate thefts allegedly involving small amounts of cash and other gift cards, according to the news release by the sheriff’s office in July 2016.

Wentzell told Charles that when she had opened mail hoping to find cash or a gift card and found a check, “it was her practice” to throw away the check rather than placing it back in the mail.

The investigation found Wentzell had activated the debit card and spent the $100 that had been loaded on it. Investigators further found that between April and August 2016, Wentzell had rifled through the mail and had taken several pieces that were being processed by the post office.

At the time of the news release, the sheriff’s office provided a link to Wentzell’s Facebook page with a photo.

On Aug. 9, 2016, Wentzell resigned from the U.S. Postal Service.

Wentzell is expected to be sentenced after the completion of a pre-sentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office. Wentzell faces a term of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Temple, with a population of about 500, is west of Farmington in Franklin County.

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