usps1.gifA former U.S. Postal Service worker who worked at a mail processing center in Petaluma has been sentenced to five months in prison and five months of location monitoring for stealing prescription drugs from mail parcels.

Heather Laurie, 38, formerly of Nice in Lake County, pleaded guilty on Jan. 21 to one count of theft of U.S. mail and one count of delay and destruction of mail.

U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello said that Laurie admitted during the plea that she stole more than 500 parcels containing prescription drugs over a five-year period while working at the Postal Service’s North Bay Processing and Distribution Center in Petaluma.

She was sentenced last week by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who also ordered her to pay more than $9,300 in restitution.

Defense attorney Geoffrey Hansen, who unsuccessfully sought a sentence of probation with no prison time, said in a presentencing filing that Laurie stole the drug because she had become addicted to Vicodin, a painkiller that she took for a painful medical condition.

Laurie, who will begin serving her sentence July 16, now lives with a sister in Colorado, according to court documents.

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