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Press Release

Raleigh Man Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for His Role in a Mail Theft Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. – A Raleigh man was sentenced yesterday to 24 months in prison for possession of stolen mail.  On July 18, 2023, Anthony Messiah Brooks, age 21, pled guilty to one count of Possession of Stolen Mail and one count of Conspiracy to Commit Theft of Mail. 500 pieces of mail recovered from a search of Brooks’ residence contained checks, U.S. currency, money orders, gift certificates, and personal identifying information for unknown individuals.   At least six victims have been identified with losses of more than $30,000 although it is anticipated that there are additional victims.  As part of the judgment, Brooks will be ordered to pay criminal restitution to victims in this case.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and the Raleigh Police Department investigated multiple occurrences of theft from U.S. Postal Service collection boxes throughout Raleigh between May and August 2022. These boxes can only be accessed by a U.S. Postal Service master key. As a result of that investigation, Brooks was found in possession of 500 pieces of mail. There is also evidence that Brooks used social media to recruit and communicate with others involved in the conspiracy. Specifically, there were direct messages to other users regarding bank account balances, photos of checks, and discussions of various meeting locations at banks.

“As it has for almost 250 years, our US Postal Service operates largely upon the trust and good faith of our citizens not to abuse it,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “Unfortunately, there are those in our society who see that system of trust as an opportunity for profit, by stealing from the mail and converting the contents for financial gain.  We are proud to partner with the United States Postal Inspection Service which works tirelessly to hold accountable those who abuse our mail system to enrich themselves.”

“The Postal Inspection Service takes great pride in protecting postal customers from criminal activity related to the U.S. mail” said Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service.  “Postal Inspectors along with our local law enforcement partners will continue to vigorously investigate and seek criminal prosecution of those who use the U.S. mail to further their criminal activity.”

At the sentencing hearing Brooks, who had no prior criminal record, only faced an advisory guideline sentence of 6 to 12 months.  The Court, however, departed upwardly from the guideline to impose two years in prison.  In doing so, the Court noted that Brooks’ conduct was egregious, and that a more significant punishment was needed to deter Brooks and others from stealing mail from, and perpetrating fraud against, the community.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III.  The United States Postal Inspection Service and the Raleigh Police Department investigated the case. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Labresh and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Warlick prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 7:22-CR-00068-D.


Updated October 26, 2023

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft