A U.S. Postal employee assigned to deliver mail in Willowick and Eastlake was sentenced to six months in prison for stealing gift cards.
Sonte E. Gibbons, 25, of Cleveland, previously pleaded guilty to theft of mail by a postal employee.
Gibbons was assigned to the Willowick Post Office beginning in September 2016, where he delivered mail in Eastlake and Willowick.
On April 13, 2017, Gibbons had a letter he was supposed to deliver to a location on East 331 Street that contained a $10 Wal-Mart gift card. Gibbons redeemed the gift card three days later while wearing his postal uniform, according to court documents.
Gibbons was arrested after the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General received complaints about mail on Gibbons’ route had not been delivered. Agents prepared 10 first-class mail pieces that contained a greeting card and a gift card or cash. Agents mailed the letters. Seven of the 10 were not delivered, according to court documents.
“As the holidays approach, this case is a good reminder that people should be cautious about sending cash or gift cards in the mail,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “The vast majority of postal employees are dedicated workers, but this case reminds us that there are always Grinches among us.”
U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Cleevely, Eastern Area Field Office said: “Postal employees are paid to deliver the mail, not steal it. This prison sentence should send a message to all postal employees and the public that special agents with the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General aggressively investigate all allegations of employee mail theft, and will hold those who choose to steal accountable. Gibbons decided to forfeit his pay, benefits, retirement, and freedom for what amounted to a few dollars. To report postal employee misconduct, contact USPS OIG special agents at www.uspsoig.gov or 888-USPS-OIG.”
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elliot Morrison following an investigation by the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General.