Stole 2,611 Containers With Replacement Cost of Over $3.6 Million
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Aaron Kevin Howard, age 53, of Brooklyn, Maryland, today to seven years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiring to steal, and theft of, aluminum carts from the U.S. Postal Service. Judge Bennett also ordered Howard to pay restitution of $404,794.91.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Postal Inspector in Charge Gary R. Barksdale of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division; and Anne Arundel County Police Chief Kevin Davis.
The U.S. Postal Service used and stored mail transport equipment, including large aluminum carts known as over-the-road containers. From 2007 through 2010, Howard worked at a private mailer located in Baltimore. From 2005 through April 2014, Howard’s co-defendant, Roland Michael Muir, worked for the same company, driving a box truck.
According to court documents and evidence presented to the Court, from July 2010 to 2014, Howard and Muir drove the private mailer’s box truck to two U.S. Postal Service bulk mail centers in Capitol Heights where they stole the over-the-road containers and loaded them on the truck. When in the bulk mail center, Howard told a USPS employee that he worked for the Baltimore IRS. The thefts typically occurred between midnight and 2:00 a.m. After taking the containers, the co-conspirators drove to a warehouse where they used spray paint to cover the U.S. Postal Service markings on the containers. They then drove the truck to a metal recycler and sold the containers for scrap value, receiving about $1,300 in cash for each transaction.
Howard and Muir changed metal recyclers when questioned about the source of the containers, or when the recyclers refused to buy the containers. In the fall of 2013 when Muir’s employment position no longer allowed him access to his employer’s truck, Howard rented a truck to use in the scheme.
Beginning sometime in 2014, Muir’s participation in the conspiracy ceased. Howard continued to steal and sell the containers, often working alone.
From July 2010 through April 2014, Howard stole approximately 2611 containers from the USPS on 311 days. The replacement cost of the stolen containers is approximately $3,694,565. Howard and Muir received at least $404,794.91 in cash from the sale of containers to metal recyclers.
Co- defendant Roland Michael Muir, age 57, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal, and theft of, aluminum carts from the U.S. Postal Service. Judge Bennett has scheduled his sentencing for December 5, 2014, at 11:00 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division and Anne Arundel County Police for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Paul E. Budlow, who is prosecuting the case.