MAIL PROCESSING CLERK INDICTED FOR STEALING GIFT CARDS OUT OF MAIL, ASSAULTING AGENTS
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 02, 2012
Public Affairs Officer
COLUMBUS – A federal grand jury here today indicted Terrence R. McLean, 37, of Westerville on 71 counts of theft of mail by an employee and 12 counts of receipt of stolen mail, accusing him of stealing cash and gift cards from pieces of mail he was responsible for processing. The grand jury also charged him with two counts of assault on a federal officer when the officers arrested him on June 29, 2012.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Robert Lapina, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General, (USPS OIG) announced the indictment returned today.
According to court documents, McLean operated a mail sorting machine at the Postal Services’ Processing and Distribution Center in Columbus. On June 29, OIG agents watched him separate, cut and tear open colored envelopes while he was at the machine. The OIG agents saw him remove the contents of the envelopes and place mail in his sock and down the front of his pants.
Agents approached him as he was leaving the building, identified themselves and told McLean he was under arrest. McLean punched, bit and struck the agents with a coffee mug and cooler. The agents were taken to a nearby hospital and treated for their injuries.
Agents searched McLean and recovered 71 first class letters including 65 that he had stuffed down the front of his pants in his underwear. They found gift cards in his wallet and his work apron and $341 in cash. McLean has been in custody since his arrest.
Mail theft by an employee and receipt of stolen mail materials are each punishable by up to five years in prison and assault on a federal officer is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Stewart commended the ongoing investigation by USPS OIG agents, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Squires, who is prosecuting the case.
Allegations in an indictment are accusations only. A defendant should be presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.