Ohio postal worker pleads guilty to mail theft

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A U.S. Postal Service worker has pleaded guilty to charges accusing him of stealing cash and gift cards from mail at a central Ohio processing center and assaulting officers.

Federal authorities say Postal Service agents saw Terrence McLean (muh'-KLAYN) open envelopes and remove the contents while sorting mail in June at the Columbus center and put mail in his sock and down his pants.

Agents say the 37-year-old McLean punched and bit them when they arrested him.

McLean pleaded guilty Thursday to 71 counts of mail theft, 12 counts of receiving stolen mail and two counts of assaulting a federal officer. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Investigators say they recovered 71 first-class letters, 20 gift cards and $341 in cash when searching McLean.