Former U.S. Postal Employee in Hartford Admits Stealing Cash and Gift Cards from Letters

Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that NATHANIEL BONILLA, 32, of Bristol, pleaded guilty today in Bridgeport federal court to theft of mail by a postal employee.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Bonilla was a mail processing clerk at the U.S. Postal Service’s Process and Distribution Center (PDC) in Hartford.  Between April 2020 and October 2020, Bonilla opened mail envelopes with a razor blade and removed cash and dozens of gift cards or prepaid debit cards for his own personal use.

In September 2020, a woman in New York mailed a letter containing a $500 Home Depot gift card to a family member in Torrington.  The Torrington resident received the envelope, but it had been opened and the gift card had been removed.  Bonilla was subsequently captured on Home Depot in-store surveillance footage using the gift card to buy merchandise.

On October 16, 2020, investigators confronted Bonilla as he was opening a letter with a razor blade.  On that date, a search of his personal bag contained 44 gift cards that he had previously stolen while at work, and 37 opened envelopes at his workstation at the Hartford PDC.

Bonilla was arrested on November 20, 2020.

Bonilla is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford on February 20, 2022, at which time Bonilla faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.  Bonilla is released on a $50,000 bond pending sentencing.

This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Chen.

Individuals who believe they are a victim of mail theft are encouraged to file a complaint by calling 888-USPS-OIG, or by visiting