SAN DIEGO – James Stephen Dudley, who caused over $100,000 in damage to the Midway Post Office by breaking in and stealing copper wire, has been sentenced to 30 months in custody. U.S. District Court Judge Janis L. Sammartino also ordered Dudley to pay back the U.S. Postal Service for the cost to repair the building damages as restitution.
Dudley was charged in October 2015 with theft of government property, theft of postal service property, and forcibly breaking into a post office with intent to commit larceny after U.S. Postal Inspectors saw him break into the Midway Post Office located at 2535 Midway Drive on September 16, 2015. According to court records, Dudley had cut the lock on the fence of the Post Office to get inside.
After spending several hours in the Post Office stripping copper wire in the middle of the night, Postal Inspectors saw Dudley drive his vehicle onto Postal property and load approximately 673 pounds of copper wire inside it. Dudley was arrested but had planned to scrap the copper wire from the Post Office for cash as he had done on at least five prior occasions during 2015. Dudley pleaded guilty to theft of government property in December 2015.
Judge Sammartino, in sentencing Dudley on February 19, 2016, ordered him to pay restitution to the U.S. Postal Service for the full amount of the damage to the Midway Post Office, $123,984.08.
U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said, “This office is committed to protecting the integrity of government buildings which ensures the employees who serve the public have a safe place to do their important work.”
“Today’s sentence should send a clear message,” said Los Angeles Postal Inspector in Charge Robert Wemyss. “The Postal Inspection Service will not tolerate attacks on our facilities. Postal Inspectors will aggressively investigate these cases and bring the thieves to justice.”