If your mail was late last June in Rancho Cordova, there was a pretty good reason.
Someone in an SUV with no license plates was following a mail carrier there on June 21 when the postman got out of his truck to make a delivery and found himself looking down the barrel of a pistol.
The robber took more than 800 pieces of mail out of the truck, authorities say, and vanished until nine days later, when he was arrested at the Red Hawk Casino in El Dorado County trying to use credit cards stolen during the heist.
On Tuesday, that defendant, Juan Carlos Maldonado, 22, pleaded guilty in federal court in Sacramento to armed robbery of a U.S. mail carrier, participation in a bank fraud scheme and aggravated identity theft.
He faces a pretty steep punishment when he is sentenced Sept. 12 by U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez: up to 30 years and a $1 million fine for bank fraud, two years for the identity theft and up to 10 years and a $250,000 fine for sticking up the postal carrier.