A 39-year-old Auburn woman who stole a “large amount” of mail from UPS drop boxes was sentenced to two months in jail after pleading guilty to identity theft and drug charges Thursday in Thurston County Superior Court.
Karlyn S. Buttelo was arrested March 23 by the Lacey Police Department and has been in the Thurston County Jail ever since. She initially faced six charges: two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, one count of possession of stolen mail, one count of unlawful factoring of a credit card and two counts of identity theft in the second degree.
Thurston County Deputy Prosecutor Joseph Wheeler agreed to drop the remaining charges if Buttello pleaded guilty to one count of identity theft and one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance. He said Buttelo had no known prior criminal history.
According to court documents, police began investigating Buttelo after a UPS security officer informed them that Buttelo had been trying to open a UPS drop box. Officers later learned that Buttelo had obtained an access code and opened drop boxes in Federal Way, DuPont and Olympia.
Officers located Buttelo at a Lacey hotel. While searching her hotel room, they found methamphetamine, heroin, drug paraphernalia, stolen mail, packages with UPS labels, stolen checks and a machine to make credit cards.
At the Thursday hearing, Office of Assigned Counsel Attorney Larry Jefferson, who represented Buttelo, said that before becoming involved with drugs, his client was a stay-at-home mom with a college degree.
“I guess anybody can fall from grace,” Jefferson said.
Buttelo told the judge that she plans to take advantage of drug treatment programs and learn from her mistakes. Dixon said he hopes that will be the case.
“You have a college degree, mouths to feed, people to take care of,” Dixon said.