FOREST CITY, Iowa – A man is now facing trials in two North Iowa counties.
Carl Douglas Werstein, 36 of Leland, is charged with ongoing criminal conduct, 3rd degree theft, and 4th degree theft in Hancock County. Authorities say he stole mail from 12 different rural mailboxes between December 2017 January and March 2018, taking over $1,000 worth of items.
After being arrested in a police sting operation, Werstein pleaded not guilty and will stand trial on August 22.
While investigating the Hancock County mail thefts, authorities say they searched a home in Winnebago County where Werstein was living with Melissa Colleen Albertson, 31 of Leland. The search reportedly turned up marijuana, a scale, and multiple forms of drug paraphernalia. Authorities also say an examination of Werstein’s and Albertson’s cell phones turned up several drug-related conversations in which the two were buying and selling marijuana locally.
Werstein has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to deliver as a habitual felony offender. The Winnebago County Attorney’s Office says Werstein has previous convictions in Cerro Gordo County for 1st degree theft, 3rd degree burglary, and forgery. This trial is scheduled to begin on September 12.
Albertson has also entered a not guilty plea to conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to deliver. She is due to stand trial in Winnebago County on August 15.