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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

Monday, July 27, 2015

Former Postal Carrier Pleads Guilty to Theft of Mail

NORFOLK, Va. – Raynard R. Heckstall, 26, of Norfolk, pleaded guilty today to theft of mail matter by a postal employee.

In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Heckstall was employed by the U.S. Postal Service as a rural carrier assistant at the Princess Anne Station in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  He began his employment on April 5, 2014.  Between December 2014 and April 2015, the defendant stole mail intended to be delivered by him to customers on his assigned route. Items stolen included gift and greeting cards, cash and other items of personal property.  As a result of complaints of missing and opened mail by customers on his route, the Postal Service initiated an investigation.  Video surveillance set up by the Postal Service showed the defendant rifling through and opening mail in his postal vehicle while on his route.  In addition, video surveillance footage taken at a department store showed the defendant and a friend redeeming a number of the gift cards he had stolen.  In a voluntary interview on April 14, 2015, Heckstall admitted to law enforcement agents that he had stolen mail intended for delivery.  He estimated that since January 2015 he had stolen as many as 10 greeting cards, three times per week.  He also admitted to stealing $400 to $500 in cash.  After the interview, Heckstall voluntarily turned over to agents a plastic bag containing 25 additional gift cards that he had stolen from the mail.  These cards had a total value of over $1,000.

Heckstall was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 20, 2015.  He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when he is sentenced on October 29, 2015. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Paul L. Bowman, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence R. Leonard.

This case was investigated by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Postal Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan M. Salsbury is prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:15-cr-65.


Updated July 27, 2015