ATLANTA (STL.News) Former Postal employee Markeyta McAllister pleaded guilty to Obstruction of United States Mail for stealing cash and gift cards from more than 15 letters.
“While most U.S. Postal Service employees serve Americans with integrity and honesty – McAllister did not,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “By opening peoples’ mail to steal money and gift cards, McAllister betrayed both the citizens she supposedly served and the reputation of her fellow employees.”
“The majority of postal employees are hard-working public servants dedicated to moving mail to its proper destination,” U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General Special Agent in Charge Imari R. Niles said. “Unfortunately, McAllister decided to betray the public’s trust and steal from postal customers. This plea demonstrates that USPS OIG special agents take these cases seriously, and that postal employees who steal mail are throwing away their careers and could end up in jail.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges and other information presented in court: From July 7, 2014 to December 3, 2019, McAllister served as a mail-processing clerk assigned to sort mail deliverable to Duluth, Georgia at a postal facility in the Atlanta-metropolitan area. As a United States Postal Service employee, McAllister pledged to “preserve and protect the security of all mail in [her] custody from unauthorized opening, inspection, tampering, delay, reading of the contents or covers, or other unauthorized acts.” Furthermore, McAllister attested that she “fully underst[ood] that it is a crime, punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both, to knowingly or willfully obstruct or delay the mail, or to steal or attempt to steal mail of any kind.”
Despite swearing to preserve and protect the integrity of the United States postal system, McAllister effected a scheme to open mailed letters and to steal prepaid/gift cards and cash from within those letters. For example, from September to October 2019:
McAllister stole a $200 prepaid Visa card from a letter addressed to a resident of Duluth, Georgia and on October 3, 2019, McAllister used the gift card;
McAllister stole a $150 prepaid Visa card from a letter addressed to a resident of Duluth Georgia and McAllister used the gift card; and
McAllister stole a $25 prepaid Visa card from a letter addressed to a resident of Duluth, Georgia and video surveillance footage depicts McAllister using the card at a Kroger Store in Jefferson, Georgia.
In total, as a U.S. Postal Service employee, McAllister stole cash and prepaid/gift cards from at least 15 letters in 2019.
On December 3, 2019, McAllister gave federal law enforcement officers a recorded statement where she admitted to stealing prepaid/gift cards from the mail.
From McAllister’s vehicle, federal agents recovered: (a) two gift card sleeves, (b) three prepaid cards, (c) several store receipts for purchases made with prepaid/gift cards, and (d) two opened envelopes not addressed to McAllister.
On November 23, 2020, McAllister, 30, of Jefferson, Georgia, was charged via criminal information with Obstruction of U.S. Mail. McAllister pleaded guilty to that charge on December 17, 2020.
U.S. Postal Service – Office of Inspector General is investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey W. Davis is prosecuting the case.