Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced that, in the largest “mail dumping” case in Alaska history, a former U.S. Postal Service employee has been sentenced to federal prison for deserting more than 49 plastic tubs of mail that he was responsible for delivering.
Thomas Gerald Hilty, 48, of Wasilla, was sentenced yesterday by Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah M. Smith to serve three years of probation, to complete 300 hours of community service, and to pay a $1,000 fine. In April 2019, Hilty pleaded guilty to one count of desertion of mail.
According to court documents, over the course of two years, Hilty abandoned some of the mail along the route in unused mail receptacles, kept some of it in and around his home, and even destroyed mail by burning it. The deserted mail included a passport, insurance correspondence, PFD letters, college acceptance letters, child support payments, among other unknown types of mail that Hilty burned. The investigation revealed that Hilty simply tired of delivering the mail he was entrusted with delivering, and did not want to complete his assigned rounds. This was the largest “mail dumping” case in Alaska history, as measured by the mail volume and number of victims – there were 467 identifiable victims in this case.
At the sentencing hearing, Judge Smith noted that a higher fine could have been imposed, however federal law required the judge to consider Hilty’s inability to pay.
The U.S. Postal Service-Office of Inspector General (USPS-OIG) conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of this case. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonas M. Walker.