FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 25, 2013
For Information Contact:
Former Postal Employee Pleads Guilty to Stealing Mail
From People on His Route
-Carrier Took Cash, Items of Value-
WASHINGTON – Ronald Pretlow, 48, a former letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, pled guilty today to stealing mail containing checks and other items of value meant for people on his route, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Paul L. Bowman, Special Agent in Charge, Capital Metro Area Field Office, U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.
Pretlow pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of theft of mail by a postal employee. The Honorable Rudolph Contreras scheduled sentencing for May 3, 2013. The charge carries a statutory maximum of five years in prison and a fine. Under federal sentencing guidelines, the parties have agreed that the applicable range would be a maximum of 16 months of incarceration and a fine of up to $30,000. As part of the plea agreement, Pretlow also must pay $1,500 in restitution to a victim in the case.
According to a statement of offense signed by the government as well as the defendant, Pretlow began work in February 2003 as a letter carrier with the U.S. Postal Service. In 2012, he was assigned to the Lammond-Riggs Station, 6200 North Capitol Street.
In the spring of 2012, the Postal Service received numerous complaints about missing packages and greeting cards from citizens living in zip code 20011. The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General began an investigation and determined that the complaints were coming from people who resided on Pretlow’s route. Agents conducted an investigation that revealed Pretlow failed to properly handle several pieces of mail.
Additionally, on July 26, 2012, a citizen contacted the Lammond-Riggs station and reported not having received a package containing $1,500 in cash. The citizen said that the sender had written the incorrect address on the package and used the Postal Service’s online tracking service to try to find it. The package, marked as delivered by “R. Pretlow,” has never been found. Pretlow’s restitution payment is to go to this victim.
Pretlow was arrested when he reported to work on Sept. 13, 2012. In a search, agents recovered currency contained in a letter that he had stolen the previous day. In a search of Pretlow’s personal vehicle, agents recovered more than 10 items of undelivered mail that were neither addressed to nor from the defendant. These items included more than $10,000 in uncashed checks, none of which noted Pretlow as the sender or intended recipient.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen and Special Agent in Charge Bowman commended the work of Special Agents of the Postal Service Office of Inspector General. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Legal Assistant Angela Lawrence, Paralegal Specialist Lenisse Edloe, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh, who is prosecuting the matter.13-024