Talon News - Good Local News

By Jacque Ritchie



Jacque Ritchie

SJC Sheriff's Crime Scene Technician Sandra Richardson and Detective Andrew Gilbert received certificates of appreciation from the USPS for their service in solving burglaries to several local post offices

On June 26, San Juan County Sheriff's Detective Andrew Gilbert and SJC Sheriff's Crime Scene Technician Sandra Richardson received Certificates of Appreciation from the US Postal Inspection Service. Gilbert and Richardson were honored for their roles in solving a string of seven post office burglaries which started in July of 2016. According to a letter to Sheriff Ken Christesen from USPS Inspector in Charge Melisa A. Llosa, "Detective Gilbert's knowledge of the local criminal activity quickly led to the identification and interviews with all four of the suspects believed to be involved in the burglaries." Llosa praised Richardson in the letter to Christensen. "Ms. Richardson was vital to the initial response for each of the seven burglaries. Without the combined efforts of Detective Gilbert and Ms. Richardson this case would have taken a significantly longer period of time to resolve and may have never resulted in an arrest."

Charged were Travis Shine Brewton, 44, of Aztec; Aaron Brown, 35, of Aztec; Marcos Herrera, 47, of Bloomfield; and Jeremy Davis, 31, of Aztec. According to Gilbert the suspects were interviewed and three suspects confessed to burglarizing the post offices. During the interviews the suspects detailed each others involvement Gilbert said. Inspector Llosa estimates the allegedly suspects made-off with over 1,400 pieces of mail affecting over 280 residents.

In a recent interview Gilbert described how he came to conclude the suspects involvement, "It's a long story. I got involved (in PO case) because of the ATM thefts." Beginning in May 2015, a string of brazen ATM thefts, commercial, residential and San Juan County Trash Compact Station burglaries triggered a local and federal multi-agency operation to take down what authorities believed was an organized racketeering ring, made up of career criminals and repeat offenders. SJC Sheriff's Office led the joint operation and Detective Gilbert was part of that effort, "I thought from the beginning that the ATMs, the post office, and the transfer station were connected."

As reported in the TALON in March of this year, 14 individual arrest warrants were issued resulting in eight arrests. Gilbert suspected Brewton's involvement in the post office heists because, "Travis Brewton likes to manipulate checks. We had an idea of what he was doing we just didn't know to what extent." Gilbert explained that besides stealing cash and goods, mail thieves typically take records that are used in identity theft.

Of the four suspects, Jeremy Davis, has pleaded guilty to a second degree felony and was sentenced to 37 years (suspended) but will serve that time on supervised probation. Marcos Herrera was the only suspect who refused to admit to his alleged involvement in the post office burglaries. According to Gilbert, "Marcos Herrera is a pretty hardened criminal, he's on another level." Currently, Herrera is serving a two-and-half year sentence in Colorado on an unrelated charge. Both Brewton and Brown are currently being held at the San Juan County Detention Center.

When asked how it felt to be honored by the US Postal Inspection Service Richardson said, "It's bizarre because I did so much more in other places I've worked." Gilbert did not expect any special recognition for his role in solving the post office case saying, "Hey, I was just doing my job."


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