Bakersfield woman sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison for mail theft and meth possession

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Bakersfield woman who used a counterfeit key to steal credit and debit cards from mailboxes has been sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison.

Erin Elizabeth Peterson, 41, was sentenced Monday for possession of stolen mail and possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of California. She was ordered to pay $92,908 in restitution.

From July to December 2017, Peterson made fraudulent transactions at retail establishments in Bakersfield using credit and debit cards stolen from the mail, the release said. She was identified from photographs obtained from the stores where the cards were used. 

A federal search warrant was served at her residence and 428 pieces of stolen mail, 31 stolen credit/debit cards, more than 100 personal and business checks and a counterfeit arrow key were found, according to the release. Investigators also found 140 grams of meth, $1,400 in cash, drug packaging material and a digital scale. 

Peterson admitted she had been stealing mail for about a year. She also said she obtained about a quarter pound of crystal meth a week and sold it at $200 an ounce, the release said. 

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