MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Eleven former FedEx employees and two former United States Postal Service contractors are facing federal charges for stealing mail.
Charges include theft of mail, possession of stolen mail or obstruction of mail.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office held a press conference Monday afternoon with more details.
On Sept. 11, a federal grand jury indicted 11 former FedEx Express employees and two former contractors for the U.S. Postal Service.
According to the indictments, the defendants targeted mail such as gifts and greeting cards since there was a strong possibility they contained U.S. currency. The employees would search through the mail, remove some of the contents, and smuggle items off the premises.
FedEx released the following statement Monday afternoon:
The following defendants, who are all from Memphis, have been indicted on obstruction of correspondence or theft and receipt of stolen mail matter. They face as many as five years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
- Braylon Butler, 25
- Posely Jones, 25
- Florence Guy, 23
- Shamika Coleman, 39
- Jamal Johnson, 39
- Ronald Carter, 32
- Katrina Dunlap, 27
- Yukelia Brown, 31
- Tekesha Henderson, 26
- Craig Johnson, 26
- Yolanda Barbee, 22
- Jerome Pope, 26
- Cortez Spencer, 28
“These are not large-scale amounts and that's quite frankly the point,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Dunavant. “Perhaps break that perception among people who think this is an easy target, if you get a job working as a carrier or handler, it is not.”
Investigators said though the denominations were low, this is not a petty crime. All 13 were slapped with federal mail theft charges, and authorities remain on the lookout for other similar law breakers.
“That's a global international hub out there at the airport all types of packages come and go out of that hub from all over the world, so security rightfully so is tight, and employees have to be trustworthy,” Dunavant said. These aren't the first indictments.
Back in July, federal prosecutors charged three former FedEx employees with mail theft, accusing them of taking money from mail intended for religious groups.
Officials at the postal service said it is a good reminder to consider the security of your card or parcel when packing it to send. Bright colored envelopes, or writing indicating it is a special gift, sends a clear signal to a thief.
“Sometimes the criminals target specific looking pieces of mail thinking they may contain something of value,” said U.S. Postal Inspector Dwight Jones.