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CHICAGO — Five individuals in the Chicago area have been charged with unlawfully possessing U.S. Postal Service keys or stealing from the mail. The indictments were brought as part of “Operation Broken Arrow,” an ongoing federal investigation into the thefts of postal keys and mail.
Indictments recently unsealed in U.S. District Court in Chicago allege that the defendants unlawfully possessed the keys or stole from the mail in Chicago this year and last year. Charged with unlawfully possessing a U.S. Postal Service key are SAVANNAH S. SHANDOR, 29, of Chicago, JOSEPH T. SOLOMON, 37, of Norridge, Ill., THADDEUS J. HARPER, 42, of Chicago, SHAUN A. WHITE, 25, of Chicago, and JORDAN J. MCPHEARSON, 31, of Chicago. Shandor, Solomon, and Harper are also charged with stealing pieces of mail.
The indictments and arrests were announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Kai Pickens, Acting Inspector-in-Charge of the Chicago Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and David Brown, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. Substantial assistance was provided the Central Area Field Office of the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Madriñan.
“It is illegal under federal law to possess a stolen or reproduced key suited to a U.S. Postal Service lock,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch. “We will continue to work with our federal and local law enforcement partners to hold accountable anyone who unlawfully possesses such a key or steals from the mail.”
“A critical mission of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service is to ensure the integrity of the U.S. Mail and to protect postal customers,” said USPIS Acting Inspector-in-Charge Pickens. “Strong collaboration with our law enforcement partners led to the successful investigations and arrests of these individuals who compromised the postal system. We will continue to build on these efforts to investigate alleged criminals who damage trust in the U.S. mail.”
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Unlawfully possessing a Postal Service key is punishable by a maximum sentence of ten years in federal prison, while theft of mail carries a maximum sentence of five years. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.