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Kalispell couple accused of raiding rural mailboxes sentenced

Hagadone News Network | September 14, 2022 1:00 AM

A Kalispell couple earned prison sentences Sept. 7 for a scheme that saw them steal hundreds of pieces of mail from rural mailboxes in the region while looking for credit cards.

Michael Thomas Kullberg, 34, received 31 months behind bars after pleading guilty in federal court in May to theft of mail, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. He will go on three years of supervised release following his prison stint.

38-year-old Jennifer Don Smith, Kullberg’s wife, received 32 months imprisonment with three years of supervised release after similarly pleading guilty in May to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. The two were ordered to pay $2,302 in restitution.

Court documents detailed two occasions where the pair allegedly raided mailboxes in Eureka, Libby, Kila and Marion in March and April 2020. Kullberg, who wore a GPS device owing to a prior felony conviction, took two credit cards from the mail and racked up fraudulent charges at businesses in Eureka and Kalispell, court documents said.

The unused mail allegedly was dumped in roadways, ditches and other areas, officials said. Residents across the region suffered the loss of packages, letters, bills, outgoing checks and personal information, authorities said.

Krullberg initially denied the allegations, which were investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and Eureka Police Department as well as Montana Probation and Parole. When confronted with the GPS device data that put him at the scene of the mail thefts, Krullberg said he was driving around with his wife in the midst of an argument.