News and Press Releases

Upstate Mail Thief Sentenced to One Year in Prison

March 7, 2013

Contact Person: Bill Watkins (864) 282-2100

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Harlan Benji Lanning, age 33, of Greenville, South Carolina, was sentenced in federal court in Anderson, South Carolina, for possession of stolen mail, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1708. Senior United States District Judge G. Ross Anderson, Jr. of Anderson sentenced Lanning to 12 months imprisonment and ordered him to pay restitution to his victims.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that on July 5, 2011, employees at the White Horse Road Lil Cricket called the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) and reported that a black Camry had been parked at the pumps for 45 minutes. A deputy investigated and noticed extensive damage to the front driver’s side of the vehicle. The deputy knocked on the window of the car and encountered Lanning, who appeared to be disoriented. The deputy asked Lanning to step out of the car. The deputy then noticed mail strewn about the car. The mail turned out to be stolen. Further investigation revealed that Lanning had been stealing mail and creating counterfeit checks using the personal identifiers from the stolen mail.

The case was investigated by agents of the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Bill Watkins of the Greenville office handled the case.


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