On Saturday, January 12th, agents from the United States Postal Service conducted a search of the former home of a postal employee from the Portland Post Office. The residence was located in Sunfield.
Jeff Arney, Public Information Officer from USPS Office of Inspector General, confirmed that the search occurred, and said, “It was not a search warrant, but a response to a complaint.”
The home was vacated at the time of the search, and was the former residence of the postal worker who was the subject of the complaint.
The name of the employee is not being released at this time, but Arney said, “The employee is on Emergency Placement while the investigation continues.” He suggested that Emergency Placement is similar to what most employers would call administrative leave.
Arney, who is based out of the USPS Great Lakes Area Field Office in Chicago, was not aware of any other law enforcement agencies being involved with the search or the investigation, but he indicated it was possible that state or county uniform officers were on site.
According to the report submitted by investigators who were on site, Arney said, “a significant amount of first-class mail” and other items were retrieved. The report added, “burned quantities of mail in various stages” were also discovered on site.
In an email to the Beacon, Arney said, “The vast majority of U.S. Postal Service personnel are dedicated, hard-working public servants dedicated to moving mail to its proper destination who would never consider engaging in any form of criminal behavior. This type of alleged behavior within the Postal Service is not tolerated and when a postal employee betrays that trust of the American people, the special agents in the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General vigorously investigate these matters as we did in this instance and work with local, state and federal prosecutors to hold accountable those employees who violate that public trust.”
The photo posted with this story was submitted by an anonymous Beacon reader who said the photo shows investigators loading a van with mail retrieved during the search.
According to 18 United States Code 1708, anyone who steals mail, “Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”