Update July 23 2015:
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Postal Inspector Quan Howard has pleaded guilty to a number of charges in this case:
SAN JOSE — A once-renowned U.S. postal inspector has been indicted on charges he rifled through damaged mail and stole valuable items over a two-year span, and also for a separate count of marijuana trafficking, according to federal authorities.
A U.S. supervisory postal inspector once named a federal employee of the year pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing mail containing prescription pills, jewelry, passports, collectible Playboy magazines and other items in San Jose.
Quan Howard, 53, of Saratoga also pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in San Jose to possession with intent to distribute marijuana. He will be sentenced Nov. 18.
In his plea agreement, Howard admitted that, from 2010 to 2014, he used his position as a supervisor to order employees at a San Jose processing and distribution center to call him whenever cash, drugs, electronics, jewelry, rare coins, precious metals and other memorabilia were found loose in the mail.
The items Howard stole included knives, gun parts, prescription pills and jewelry, including a “Joan Rivers Classics Collection” box containing a note signed by the late comedian, authorities said.
While the mail-theft allegations against Quan Pham Howard, 52, surfaced after his arrest in late June, the charge of possession with intent to distribute marijuana was not widely known until an announcement Wednesday by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California.
Howard was also formally indicted by a federal grand jury for possessing stolen U.S. mail and the delay and destruction of U.S. mail. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison and potential fines of up to $750,000.