TORRANCE (CBSLA) — Police say the theft of more than 300 election ballots in Torrance last August was a case of identity theft and fraud, rather than attempt to impact the recall election.
Eduardo Mena, 34, was indicted this past month by a federal grand jury on charges of bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, possession of stolen mail, and being a felon in possession of ammunition, according to Torrance police. The stolen ballots were found in Mena's car, according to Torrance police.
The stolen ballots were discovered in August, just a few weeks before the failed election to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom. They were apparently stolen from a U.S. Postal Service vehicle.
"One of the main goals for this investigation was to determine what Mena's intent with the stolen election ballots was," a statement from Torrance police said, adding that investigators had scoured both electronic and physical evidence. "After reviewing all that evidence, investigators have not uncovered any evidence indicating Mena intended to engage in any type of fraud."
However, investigators did find evidence of Mena's involvement in bank fraud and identity theft schemes.
Mena is currently in custody on state charges for an unrelated case.
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