Jacksonville postal worker sentenced for stealing mail

Cash was missing out of greeting cards on his postal route

FILE - Aug. 18, 2020 (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File) (Nati Harnik, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A mail carrier who pleaded guilty to stealing mail while employed by the United States Postal Service was sentenced Monday to two years’ probation, with $215 in restitution and a $100 special assessment.

The restitution will be paid to the victims. Six of them will get between $10 and $25 each, and one will get $100.

An undercover operation by USPS led to the arrest of James Sweat.

According to court documents, Sweat worked as a Rural Carrier Associate at the Baldwin Station in Jacksonville. On May 12, 2021, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) got a complaint from the station manager that Sweat might be stealing cash and gift cards based on a high volume of mail losses on his route.

The station manager said she conducted two of her own “integrity tests” based on customer complaints.

On May 7, 2021, she put a card with $10 cash on Sweat’s route. The recipient got the card, which had been re-taped, but the cash was missing.

On June 4, the OIG sent a greeting card on Sweat’s route to an invalid address. It should have been put in the “throw-back” case and shouldn’t have left the station. It had “3″ marked $20 bills and a “letter beacon transmitter” inside.

When the contents were rifled through or removed, agents were alerted, they stopped Sweat in his Postal Service vehicle and searched it.

They found the missing cash inside his wallet and the greeting card opened. They also found an additional 24 greeting cards that had been rifled through in his vehicle. Sweat admitted he had been stealing cash from the mail for about a month and estimated he had opened approximately 100 mail items, stealing approximately $1,000.

News4JAX reported in November that Sweat pleaded guilty.

About the Author:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.