ABINGDON, Va. – A former employee of the United States Postal Service was sentenced today to 24 months in federal prison for stealing mail containing medication intended for United States Veterans.
Ammie Hale, 46, of Raysal, West Virginia, pleaded guilty in March 2021 to three counts of theft by mail by an employee of the postal service for stealing mail on February 26, 2020, July 1, 2020, and August 5, 2020, and one count of making false statements.
According to court documents, from September 2019 through July 2020, the United States Postal Service, Office of the Inspector General (USPS-OIG) received over 40 reports from the Salem, Virginia Veterans Affairs Medical Center of medication parcels mailed to veterans in the Tazewell, Virginia area that were never delivered.
Agents of the USPS-OIG reviewed available video footage and observed Hale on two different occasions, while working at the Tazwell Post Office, removing parcels from the sorting area, and taking them to an area of the Post Office where employees keep personal belongings and hiding the parcels in her purse. On August 5, 2020, agents conducted on-site surveillance and caught Hale stealing pills from a package addressed from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Hale was interviewed on August 5 and falsely told investigators that she had never stolen mail prior to that day.
Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel P. Bubar of the Western District of Virginia and Kenneth Cleevely, Special Agent in Charge, United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General Eastern Area Field Office made the announcement.
The United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General investigated the case.