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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 15, 2016

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Three for Possessing Stolen Mail

Defendants Captured on Video Stealing Mail from Apartment Complexes in Dallas

DALLAS — A federal grand jury has indicted three Dallas-area residents for possessing stolen mail, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Onetta Lashuan McDaniel, 35, and Brandon Michael Wickware, 30, are each charged with three counts of possessing stolen mail; Curtis Edward Freeman, 27, is charged with one count.  McDaniel and Freeman remain on bond, with conditions.  Following a detention hearing this week for Wickware, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney ordered that he remain in federal custody pending trial.  A trial date of February 13, 2016, before U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade, is set.

“The arrest of McDaniel, Freeman and Wickware underscores the commitment of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to ensure the public’s trust in the Postal Service, its brand and the U.S. mail,” said Ralph A. Key, Acting Inspector in Charge, Fort Worth Division.  “I’d like to thank the Postal Inspectors and the U.S. Attorney assigned to the case for their hard work and dedication in this investigation.”

The indictment alleges that on May 26, 2016, McDaniel and Wickware possessed Chase Bank personal checks and a Texas License to Carry a Handgun identification that had been stolen from mail receptacles.

The indictment also alleges that on November 17, 2016, McDaniel possessed a Kohl’s credit card that had been stolen from a mail receptacle.  It also alleges that on November 22, 2016, Wickware and Freeman possessed a Texas Department of Public Safety first class letter that had been stolen from a mail receptacle.

According to testimony presented at detention hearings, the investigation revealed video of McDaniel breaking into six to eight panel mailboxes at apartment complexes in the Uptown/Dallas area.  Wickware and Freeman were also identified stealing mail from apartment complexes.  On November 22, 2016, U.S. Postal Inspectors trailed Wickware and Freeman as they broke into panel mailboxes at apartment complexes in Uptown and Downtown Dallas.  When inspectors then attempted to stop their vehicle, they threw mail from their car onto the roadway.

An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury, and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty.  If convicted, however, the maximum statutory penalty for each count of possession of stolen U.S. mail is five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

The investigation is being led by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service with assistance from the Dallas Police Department.  Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Bray is in charge of the prosecution.

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Updated December 15, 2016