SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that the former Eagle Rock, Mo., postmaster was sentenced in federal court today for conspiring to rob or burglarize a convenience store.
Michael Joe Stubblefield, 51, of Cassville, Mo., sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner to three years and eight months in federal prison without parole.
On Dec. 18, 2013, Stubblefield pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to commit robbery and to transporting stolen goods.
On multiple occasions in March 2012, Stubblefield – who was then employed as the postmaster at the U.S. Postal Service office in Eagle Rock – met with confidential informants, who were cooperating with law enforcement, to coordinate a staged robbery or burglary at Uncle Roy’s Convenience Store. Several of those conversations were recorded.
Stubblefield asked one of the informants, who was an employee of the store, to provide detailed information about the location of cameras, closing operations and employee schedules, location of storage areas for valuable liquor, and other specific details regarding the operation of the store. Both confidential informants believed the purpose of Stubblefield’s inquiries were his desire to conduct a robbery when the confidential informant was on duty at the convenience store or possibly a burglary of the facility, utilizing the employee’s access information to carry out the plan after the store was closed.
When that employee was terminated from the store, Stubblefield abandoned the plan of a staged robbery and turned his attention toward a possible take-over robbery. In addition to discussing the planned robbery, Stubblefield also described how those taking part in the robbery could place cash, masks and other items related to the robbery in Postal Service packaging that Stubblefield would provide. After the robbery, co-conspirators would drop these items at the USPS drop box in front of the USPS facility in Eagle Rock. As Stubblefield was the only individual with access to this box, he would be able to retrieve the cash and other items from the drop box.
Stubblefield planned to create a diversion for law enforcement officers by having co-conspirators make a false 911 call while other co-conspirators robbed the store.
During the continuing investigation, it was determined that Stubblefield had also intercepted and stole at least two shipments of precious metals bound for THR Associates, a company that buys gold and silver items. Stubblefield referred to these thefts during his contact with the confidential informants. The gold and silver items were sold for a total of $6,480.
This case was prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Oliver and Assistant U.S. Attorney James Kelleher. It was investigated by the FBI, the United States Postal Service – Office of Inspector General, and the Barry County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.