LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - A 50-year-old man from Georgia has pleaded guilty to possessing stolen U.S. mail.
U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley said Tuesday that Terry Ulysses Morris, of Lithonia, entered the plea before U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik in federal court in Lafayette.
Evidence presented at the plea hearing shows authorities pulled Morris' vehicle over during a Jan. 18, 2012, traffic stop on Interstate 10 in Calcasieu Parish. A strong odor of marijuana prompted them to ask if they could search the car. After receiving permission to do so, authorities found two sacks containing 216 U.S. Treasury checks that had not been cashed. The checks were from Social Security Administration accounts with Georgia addresses. The face value for the checks totaled $144,920.
Finley said Morris admitted that he traveled to Houston in search of someone to buy or cash the checks. But he couldn't find buyers because the checks were so old that most of the intended recipients had requested replacement checks be issued, she said.
Morris was driving back to Georgia when he was stopped, Finley's office said.
Morris faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. A sentencing date has not been set.