The plea agreement was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Postal Inspector in Charge Gary R. Barksdale of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Washington Division; and Anne Arundel County Police Chief Kevin Davis.
“Many citizens across Anne Arundel County and the region are unaware of the impact that metal thefts have on our community,” said Anne Arundel County Police Chief Kevin Davis. “We formed our Metal Unit in January to concentrate on these types of crimes and this investigation highlights the financial strain these thefts place on businesses, costs that are often passed on to our citizens. I commend the work of our detectives and our federal partners to bring this investigation to a successful prosecution.”
The U.S. Postal Service used and stored mail transport equipment, including large aluminum carts known as over-the-road containers. Muir worked for a private mailer company located in Baltimore, driving a box truck.
According to his plea agreement, from July 2010 to 2014, Muir drove his employer’s box truck to two U.S. Postal Service bulk mail centers in Capitol Heights where he stole the over-the-road containers and loaded them on the truck. A co-conspirator accompanied Muir during the thefts, which typically occurred between midnight and 2:00 a.m. The co-conspirators then drove to a warehouse where they used spray paint to cover the U.S. Postal Service markings on the containers. They drove the truck to a metal recycler and sold the containers for scrap value, receiving about $1,300 in cash for each transaction.
Muir and his co-conspirator changed metal recyclers when questioned about the source of the containers, or when the recyclers refused to buy the containers. In the fall of 2013 when Muir’s employment position no longer allowed him access to his employer’s truck, his co-conspirator rented a truck to use in the scheme.
During Muir’s participation in the scheme, approximately 2,031 containers were stolen from the U.S. Postal Service on 253 days. The replacement cost of these containers is $2,873,865. The containers were sold to metal recyclers for $323,175.71 in cash.
Muir faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy and 10 years in prison for the theft charge. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett scheduled sentencing for October 28,2014, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.
Co- defendant Aaron Kevin Howard, age 52, of Brooklyn, Maryland, was charged by indictment with conspiring to steal, and theft of, aluminum carts from the U.S. Postal Service. Howard pleaded not guilty on May 9, 2014 and is scheduled for trial on September 2, 2014.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Washington Division and Anne Arundel County Police for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Paul E. Budlow, who is prosecuting the case.