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September 24, 2013

LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Willie Jamal Reynolds, 33, of Opelousas, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Magistrate Judge C. Michael Hill to taking part in the robbery at the U.S. Post Office in Lawtell, La., where a driver was attacked.

According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, two individuals robbed a U.S. Postal Service highway contract route driver on Aug. 13, 2011, while the driver was with his truck at the loading dock of the post office in Lawtell. One of the individuals grabbed the driver from behind by the neck and wrestled him to his knees. The other individual demanded money, but the driver said there was none, just mail. The driver noticed the individual who spoke had a gun and took a registry bag. They eventually left, and the driver was transported to a nearby hospital where he was treated for injuries. Several witnesses reported seeing a white van in the area, and a surveillance camera at a business located next door to the post office shows a white van drop off two individuals at the time of the robbery. Reynolds admits he used his mother’s white van to pick up the two assailants and transport them to and from the post office.

Reynolds faces up to 25 years in prison, five years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine for aggravated robbery of mail matter. Sentencing was set for Feb. 14, 2014.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett L. Grayson is prosecuting the case.

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