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Little Falls man sentenced for selling items taken from Walker store

A 44-year-old Little Falls man was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Minneapolis for selling over the Internet items he stole from the Walker sporting goods store where he worked.

In Minneapolis, U.S. District Court Judge Ann D. Montgomery sentenced David Earl Gregoire to 24 months in prison on five counts of mail fraud in connection to his crime. He was indicted Sept. 23, 2009, and was convicted by a federal jury Jan. 26, 2010.

Following today's sentencing, Antonio Gomez, inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service's Denver Division, which includes the Twin Cities, said, "The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is committed to ensuring public trust in the mail, and one way this is done is by investigating individuals, such as Mr. Gregoire, who use the U.S. mail to send stolen merchandise to unwitting buyers. Criminals should take note that postal inspectors have been investigating crimes involving the U.S. mail for more than 200 years and will continue to do so, making sure that those using the U.S. mail in furtherance of their criminal activity will be brought to justice, so that the American consumer is protected against these types of schemes."

According to the evidence presented at trial, Gregoire took approximately $265,339 worth of merchandise from Reed's Family Outdoor Outfitters, located in Walker. Gregoire, a clerk at Reed's from 1995 to1998, began working for the store again on a contract basis in 2000. Then, from August 2005 to June 2008, he stole merchandise from the business while supposedly transferring it from the warehouse to the retail stores. Gregoire subsequently sold the stolen items through an Internet auction site, often for below wholesale costs. On five occasions, he delivered the stolen merchandise to Internet buyers through the U.S. mail. Gregoire is expected to report to prison in the near future.

This case was the result of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Morrison County Sheriff's Office, the Little Falls Police Department, the Cass County Sheriff's Office, and the Bemidji Police Department.