Postal worker gets probation for stealing 9,700 pieces of mail in Roslindale

Letters, lots of letters that were stolen

Some of the stolen mail, submitted as evidence by the government

A federal judge last week agreed with federal prosecutors to sentence a Roslindale mail carrier to two years of probation and 80 hours of community service for the 9,700 pieces of mail, addressed to 1,095 Roslindale residents, that she stuffed in her SUV rather than delivering over an 18-month period.

Lots of magazines and junk mail:

Magazines and junk mail

Megan Hawes, 30, of Roslindale, faced up to 5 years in federal prison for theft of mail matter by a Postal Service employee for all the mail found in her SUV in a Weymouth tow lot.

The back of Hawes's SUV

Hawes rifled through at least some of the letters, looking for cash or checks.

In a sentencing recommendation filed in US District Court, though, prosecutors for the US Attorney's office said probation, community service and restitution would be a just punishment, one that recognizes the seriousness of what she did but also the fact she has a substance-abuse problem and no prior criminal record.

This thirty-year old defendant knew right from wrong when she stole and rifled through thousands of pieces of mail. She abused her position of trust. She is an educated woman who was employed by the post office for almost 18 months before resigning her position as a result of the instant offense. She is a high school graduate who has completed one semester of college. ... She lied to USPS on the date she was confronted with the theft by initially denied stealing any mail and also told agents that she had no substance abuse issues. However, one day later, she resigned from the USPS and in her resignation letter, indicated she does have a substance abuse issue. Soon thereafter, she began to reside at a sober house which she remains at. In her interview with U.S. Probation for the [pre-sentencing recommendation], the defendant related that she has a history of chronic substance abuse and first began abusing substances at age 15. The government is cognizant of the information contained in the PSR concerning this thirty year old defendant's history and has factored that into consideration when fashioning its recommended sentence. However, the defendant's crime was not isolated to one day or one incident but rather were repeatedly committed over approximately eighteen months.

In light of the facts presented in this case, the government recommends a period of two years of probation, continued substance abuse treatment as determined by U.S. Probation, 80 hours of community service, a $100 mandatory special assessment, and restitution as determined by the Court. This defendant stole from the citizens of the community she was hired to deliver mail to. As such, community service should be made part of the sentence. The government asserts that this sentence comports with the factors outlined in [federal law], including the nature and circumstances of these offense, the need for the sentenced imposed must reflect the seriousness of the offense and promote respect for the law, the characteristics of the defendant, and both specific and general deterrence.

Stolen packages

US District Court Judge Denise Casper ordered restitution of $235 and a special assessment of $100, in addition to the probation and community service.

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Comments

Educated?

What a weird comment. High school + 1 month of college is, sure, more educated than high school drop out but I would think a high school diploma is the bare minimum to be a postal carrier.

However, not sure how jailing her would be worth the trouble and cost so whatever.

I Wonder

Does "educated" have to do with "responsible for behavior" in some sort of legalistic rubric?

Look at the big picture

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Jailing her is supposed to warn others thinking of committing this crime to think twice.,

It happens

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Maybe not in an SUV, but this isn't the first time I've heard of a letter carrier tossing mail rather than delivering it. It's serious and is appropriately treated as such.

She has to pay $235 in

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She has to pay $235 in restitution, so that probably is what pays back the people she stole from.

$325?

I find it impossible to believe that this is the total amount of money and goods that she stole from her customers.

I hear you, Ron

Besides checks and money, I wonder how much mail that required a timely response (housing mail, school acceptance letters, etc.) did not get delivered because of this postal worker actions.

Heck, I'd first heard about this when some important mail to Roslindale I was expecting was super late.

Maybe the intrinsic monetary value of mail could not be determined? Delivery of mail is so important that it's a felony. Maybe more restitution will be required later?

Restitution

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"...80 hours of community service, a $100 mandatory special assessment, and restitution as determined by the Court."
Sounds like they've got that covered.

They do when you're hired as a PSE

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PSEs are hired to work one year, take a week off, and are re-hired for anothed 365 days. This continues until they are 'converted' to 'regular' USPS employee. This process can take 2-3 years. It sounds like she was probably still a PSE waiting for conversion. Postal employees are unionized.

Throw the book at her

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I'm sorry, but his woman didn't just steal a couple of pieces of mail. She systematically and over a sustained 18 month period stole 9700 pieces of United States mail. She KNEW what she was doing. And a "substance abuse issue" excuse is enough to let her walk virtually scot free? What a travesty.

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Surprised

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I can’t believe she isn’t required to pay back more money. My parents mailed two birthday cards to my husband and my son. My husband’s card arrived and my son’s never did. His had $50 cash in it. I am all but certain it was stolen by her. I filed a complaint with the USPS.

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The "all but certain" part is

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The "all but certain" part is why she doesn't have to pay back more money. But also, the judge has to be realistic about what can be paid. I was robbed at knife point, which seems like a worse crime than storing someone's mail in a car, and I got $500 in restitution. We're not going to see thousands of dollars suddenly appear from a postal carrier.

one that recognizes the

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one that recognizes the seriousness of what she did but also the fact she has a substance-abuse problem

That's the quality of person the Post Office is hiring now.

The $235 is about half of the cost of first class stamps for all those envelopes. I'd at least want my stamp money back. Not likely to get it from a drunk.

32 Year letter carrier

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Educated male, one year of college completed. I know right from wrong and wouldn't dream of losing my pension by stealing from the mail. I'm not perfect by any means but I'd never end a sentence with a preposition. Ever.