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A retired postmaster was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to six months in prison.

Michael Kozina, 57, of Eden, had previously admitted stealing $27,345 in post office funds over a two-year period ending in 2012. He pleaded guilty to misappropriation of postal funds.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito Jr. said Kozina was employed as postmaster at the Lawton Post Office when he stole cash he received from customers seeking money orders and post office box rentals.

“I hit rock bottom and went a little deeper," Kozina told Arcara.

Defense lawyer Peter M. Kooshoian said Kozina’s thefts stemmed from a gambling problem and suggested to Arcara that his client has suffered the “stigma” that comes with seeing your name associated with criminal wrong doing.

Kozina’s sentence is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Service.