Former FedEx driver pleads guilty to theft & money laundering charges

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Tue, July 1 2014 at 5:17 PM, Updated: Tue, July 1 2014 at 6:29 PM

Medford, Ore. --  A former Medford FedEx driver, 40-year-old Victor Manuel Chavez, was sentenced to 41-months or nearly three and half years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of theft from interstate shipment and another count of money laundering. The sentencing was held on Monday in Medford's federal courthouse.

Sergeant Brent Mak with the Medford Police Department said they caught Mak because of "good ol' fashioned police work."

The investigation started back in 2012 when a Medford officer discovered something suspicious on a FedEx package being transported from the airport.

"He was looking at a package and he noticed a package that... had a second label placed over top of it," explained Mak.

Mak said Chavez re-routed packages to his delivery truck, then took them home.    

According to police, Chavez stole packages containing electronics and drug money from out-of-state, totaling about a quarter-million dollars.

"He would try to identify packages that he thought contained either cash, drugs or electronics," said Mak.

In court documents, the federal prosecutor said Chavez would sell the electronics to coworkers at his other job at Winco, saying he got them at a low price.

However, it wasn't just electronics, police say he stole.

"It was a lot of money that he had taken predominantly from probably the illegal sale of marijuana," said Mak.

All the money that was involved, made officers think twice about Chavez's safety.

"There's going to be a lot of unhappy people who are out tens of thousands of dollars who if they figured out, maybe that's where my money went, that's why my shipment didn't go through, they might look at possible retaliation," Mak said.

Now Chavez will be spending 41-months, or nearly 3.5 years in prison.

Medford Police said drugs and money often get shipped in the mail, with dealers making up to $4000 a pound for shipping Oregon-grown marijuana to other states.

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About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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