Philadelphia Man Sentenced to Nearly 22 Years for Kidnapping and Robbing United States Postal Workers
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that James Chandler, 55, of Philadelphia, PA was sentenced to 21 years and 10 months in prison, and five supervised release by United States District Court Judge R. Barclay Surrick for two counts of robbery of a postal worker and one count of kidnapping.
In September 2021, the defendant pleaded guilty to the charges in connection with two incidents that occurred on January 11 and February 4, 2021, during which Chandler robbed postal workers using a replica handgun, forcing them into their postal trucks and stealing packages from inside. During the incident in February, Chandler also forced the postal worker to drive him for several blocks in her postal truck before he fled on foot.
“Targeting and violently assaulting employees of the United States Postal Service is a serious federal crime,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “Mail carriers provide an essential service to nearly every citizen and business, oftentimes going above and beyond to execute their duties in challenging circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Chandler terrorized two postal workers at gunpoint, and he will now spend decades behind bars for his actions.”
“Early in 2021, James Chandler terrorized two mail carriers with the United States Postal Service by pointing a gun their faces and robbing them of parcels they were delivering. With some old fashioned police work, Postal Inspectors and Philadelphia Police detectives quickly identified and arrested Mr. Chandler,” said Damon Wood, Inspector in Charge of the Philadelphia Division of the Postal Inspection Service’s Philadelphia Division. “While Inspectors are busy investigating narcotic trafficking, mail fraud schemes, and the theft of mail, few other crimes will mobilize Inspectors and the resources of the Inspection Service more so than violence committed against its employees or its customers. I want to thank the officers and detectives of the Philadelphia Police Department and the prosecutors at the United States Attorney’s Office for working alongside us in holding Mr. Chandler responsible.”
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Philadelphia Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Justin Oshana.